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VOL. 132 | NO. 21 | Monday, January 30, 2017

Local and State Reaction To Trump Immigration Executive Order

By Bill Dries

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Here is reaction from state and local leaders to federal court orders in four states over the weekend blocking an executive order signed by President Donald Trump Friday, Jan. 27, that restricts immigration and travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. The original order applied to those with green cards and has since been changed to allow those with green cards.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland:

“In light of what’s happened in our country in recent days, I want to reiterate what I said in November: Memphis is proud to be a welcoming city that values diversity and treats every single person equally – no matter what. And Memphis will continue to be that way. As it relates to federal immigration policy, the Memphis Police Department is not in the business of enforcing it. That is not MPD’s function or mission. We have continued to operate just as we did under the prior federal administration’s policy, and have no plans to change that. We have not received any communication on this topic from the new administration.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen:

“Stupid! Bigoted! Political! Xenophobic! Sociopathic! Destructive! Narrow to no minded! This stunt is hurting friends and will encourage terrorism.” “America … we have a problem.”

-- From @RepCohen Twitter account

Cohen statement Jan. 30, 2017:

“I will be joining my colleagues in cosponsoring legislation to overturn President Trump’s unconstitutional executive order,” said Congressman Cohen. “We do not have religious tests in this country.  That is a clear violation of the first amendment. When we start detaining foreign nationals who have risked their lives to assist our military, we are making our troops abroad and our nation less safe.  This hasty and unsound executive order will provide ISIS with additional propaganda to use against the United States.  The order also singles out a small number of countries, but ignores others like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt from which individuals have been linked to actual terror attacks inside the U.S.

Everyone agrees that we should screen refugees to ensure that no one intent on doing harm is allowed into our country.  That’s why it currently takes up to two years for applicants to be fully screened, and I support this screening process.  But if the Administration is serious about protecting against terrorist attacks, I would encourage it to start by supporting of legislation to prohibit individuals who are already in the United States and already considered too dangerous to allow onto an airplane from buying guns and explosives. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the SOLVE Act and make America safe and constitutional again. While I feel extremely confident that Democrats will support the bill, we need Republicans to support it for it to pass. This will be the first major test under the Trump Administration for Republicans to honor their oath of office to protect and defend the constitution and put country over party.”

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff:

“The federal government’s number one priority should be to protect the American people. I believe President Trump is putting American safety first, and I will encourage a long-term plan that is consistent with the values and compassion on which our great nation was founded.”

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander:

"This vetting proposal itself needed more vetting. More scrutiny of those traveling from war-torn countries to the United States is wise. But this broad and confusing order seems to ban legal, permanent residents with ‘green cards,’ and might turn away Iraqis, for example, who were translators and helped save lives of Americans troops and who could be killed if they stay in Iraq. And while not explicitly a religious test, it comes close to one which is inconsistent with our American character.”

U.S. Senator Bob Corker:

“We all share a desire to protect the American people, but this executive order has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders. The administration should immediately make appropriate revisions, and it is my hope that following a thorough review and implementation of security enhancements that many of these programs will be improved and reinstated.”

University of Memphis president David Rudd:

“Given the recent executive order, the University of Memphis is exploring the impact on our faculty, staff and students. We are working directly with those involved and are also coordinating with a number of national groups and agencies to better understand both its results and response options. We encourage everyone affected to contact the Center for International Education Services at 901-678-2055, Office of the Dean of Students at 901-678-2187, Office of the Dean of the Graduate Schools at 901-678-4212 or the Office of the Provost at 901-678-2119 for assistance. Just a few days ago, I distributed a message affirming our unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion ‘for all people, regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.’ Let me reaffirm that commitment in the strongest manner possible. We are here to assist. If you have questions or concerns about the executive order, please do not hesitate to reach out.”

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry:

“America is stronger and better when we have each other’s back, and we have each other’s back in Nashville.”

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