WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Monday after the White House announced its second attempt at an executive order temporarily banning citizens of Muslim-majority countries and all refugees from entering the United States:
“Despite minor changes, the Administration’s new executive order is just as legally objectionable and morally reprehensible as the original.
“There is a real threat that this nation faces from terrorism, and our policy efforts must address that threat. This order does not do that. Instead, it makes us less safe, damages our moral leadership, and strengthens the hand of those who would do us harm either through recruitment or self-radicalization.
“The United States can both safeguard its security and protect the persecuted. Refugees entering the United States are rigorously vetted through a long process involving thorough checks by multiple security agencies, and any needed changes can continue to be made without suspending the entire process. A four-month ban will in effect disrupt resettlement for months longer because refugees’ required medical and security clearances will lapse. I fear the Administration’s continued targeting of the refugee program signals their wish to permanently curtail or end what has been for generations a hallmark of American security and moral leadership across the world.
“President Trump has effectively slammed the door on eligibility for the 21 million refugees globally who are in dire need of assistance to even apply to come to the United States. Our nation has been generous but modest in our historic intake of refugees compared to other developed countries, yet communities in my home state of Maryland and across the nation are enriched by the contributions of refugees who have come to love and contribute to the United States of America.
“I hope the Courts respond accordingly once again by preventing this indefensible order from going forward, and I continue to call on my colleagues in Congress to work together to the same end.”