La. public officials offer mixed reactions to Trump's executive - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

La. public officials offer mixed reactions to Trump's executive order on immigration

Source: AP/Chuck Burton Source: AP/Chuck Burton
WASHINGTON, DC (WAFB/AP) -

Many Louisiana officials are commenting on President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban.

Congressman Cedric Richmond, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement in response to Trump's executive order on immigration, saying he and the caucus will stand against the order and continue to urge the president to reconsider. The statement is below:

This unjust, counterproductive, and immoral Executive Order violates the U.S. Constitution and goes against our fundamental values. This is not only my opinion, but the view of attorneys general across the country. President Trump’s ban has shut the door on many of our allies, including brave men and women who have risked their lives to work with American troops.

The United States has stood as a beacon of freedom and inspiration. We welcome the tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free to our shores. This president has chosen to re-brand our country as one that rejects these principles. The Congressional Black Caucus will stand against this dangerous Executive Order and continue to call on the president to reconsider this approach.

Republican U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy released the following statement Monday, supporting Trump's order:

I know many physicians from these countries who provide vital healthcare services to fellow Americans. Some are naturalized citizens and some permanent residents with green cards. Often times they work in rural areas or inner cities where there are no other doctors. Their ability to return freely to the United States after traveling is important to their patients, neighbors and families. Although I speak of doctors, there are others just as important. I am pleased to see that this order is being refined to address this and I look forward to it being further refined. Our nation’s security and our Constitution can be respected simultaneously.

On a mobile device? Click here for a photo gallery on protests about the travel ban.

RELATED: A look at Trump's executive order on refugees, immigration

Congressman Clay Higgins, representative for Louisiana's third district, and also a Republican, talked to KATC-TV in Lafayette

Radical Islamic Terror should not be a partisan concern. The President's executive order for a short-term restriction on visa entry from 7 countries... that are known to foster terrorists... combined with a systematic review of our immigration and vetting procedure, is reasonable.

Some others in Washington are expressing concerns about the executive order cracking down on immigration.

GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina said in a joint statement that "the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days."

Senator John Kennedy released the following statement Monday, saying:

We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. As a sovereign country, America has the right to control its border. I support the following rule: If you want to come to America, you have to be rigorously vetted to make sure you are not a terrorist, regardless of your religion or country of origin. If you can't be vetted, or you fail the vetting, you can't come. It would be stupid to let people who want to hurt us into our country. If you have been properly vetted, i.e., you have a legal immigration status such as a green card, you should be allowed in, as the White House clarified this weekend.

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania added that while he supports increased vetting, "Unfortunately, the initial executive order was flawed - it was too broad and poorly explained."

Congressman Garret Graves had this to say in response to the order:

America is a nation of immigrants. I am proud of my heritage and appreciate the contributions our forefathers, but the future greatness of the United States depends upon the safety and security of Americans today. We have two choices: we can put appropriate safeguards and protections in place to prevent future attacks or we can continue to react by putting safeguards in place after the next 9-11, San Bernardino, or Orlando-style attack. The recent actions by the Administration should not be a shock to anyone – they were routinely discussed during his campaign.

Individuals affected by President Trump’s Executive Order are from countries that were originally selected by the Obama Administration when he signed the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act just over a year ago. Later, the list was expanded under President Obama as his Administration grappled with the risks associated with individuals coming from these countries. Last Congress, nearly 50 Democrats joined Republicans in passing the American SAFE Act, bi-partisan legislation that required background security assessments of immigrants from Syria and Iraq. 

No one wants to close America’s borders or prevent individuals who want to build a better life for themselves here from coming in. In fact, the United States accepts more immigrants than any other country in the world – and that will not change under this executive order. The goal of the executive order is to ensure that people coming to the United States do not intend to harm our citizens or undermine the very ideals that make America a beacon of hope for the world. For the sake of American security, it is appropriate to press pause and scrutinize the background check process in place for individuals from high-risk countries. I urge the Trump Administration to expedite this review.

Universities in the area are also expressing their thoughts on Trump's executive order.

Southern University released this statement Monday:

At this time, no international students enrolled at Southern University have been affected by President Donald Trump’s executive orders limiting the admission and travel of foreign nationals from seven countries to the U.S. The University is monitoring any developments related to the executive orders on foreign travel and will continue providing our international students with information and any assistance needed.

LSU President F. King Alexander has also released a statement in response to Trump's immigration ban, expressing his concerns about the policy. The statement reads:

Last week’s Presidential Executive Order affecting the ability of individuals from certain nations to enter the United States has caused significant alarm within the higher education community. Please know that LSU is monitoring the issue and we are engaged with governmental leaders to ensure the protection of our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to provide updates to potentially affected students and employees based on the latest available information.

Academia depends upon the exchange of ideas with colleagues from around the world. In fact, the ability to attract and engage scientists, scholars, and students from around the world is one of the reasons American universities are leaders in innovation.

Cultural and intellectual exchange bring significant economic and diplomatic benefits. Faculty and staff from around the world have become part of our university, with many using their unique talents to solve our state’s challenges. And our history is filled with international students who returned home to play pivotal leadership roles in their own nations that ultimately resulted in stronger diplomatic ties with the United States.

For these reasons and many more, our colleagues from the international community are more than simply welcome at LSU – they are respected and valued, and we are appreciative of their contributions to the success of our university.

LSU is committed to preparing globally aware students who are internationally competitive while also attracting the world’s brightest scholars to Louisiana. I’m proud of our university’s progress in meeting both of these goals, and look forward to all we will achieve through our combined efforts.

And Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas stated that he supports thorough vetting, but does not support restricting the rights of lawful permanent residents. Moran added, "Furthermore, far-reaching national security policy should always be devised in consultation with Congress and relevant government agencies."

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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