January 28, 2017

Kaine Statement On President Trump's Executive Order On Refugee Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement on President Trump’s executive order on refugee programs:

“I am appalled by the cruelty the Trump Administration has demonstrated over the past 24 hours. By indefinitely suspending the Syrian refugee program and imposing a religious test at our borders, he has defied everything our nation stands for. He's also weakened our national security by empowering ISIL's narrative that the West is at war with Islam and encouraging Muslim countries to further cooperate with adversaries like Russia and Iran. For decades, America has acted as the Good Samaritan and extended a welcoming hand to those who yearn to be free. We should continue to thoroughly vet all refugees who enter the United States, but we cannot abandon our core principles. If we turn our backs on widows and orphans fleeing the very evil we despise, we do not defeat our enemies; we surrender to them.

“It is also incredulous that at the same time the President is asking the Pentagon for new options to defeat ISIL, he is banning Iraqi refugees from entering the country.  The government of Iraq is our ally in the fight against ISIL. Its troops fight alongside ours. Its interpreters risk their own lives and the lives of their families to protect U.S. personnel. It undermines our national security and endangers our soldiers to have our Iraqi partners and other Muslim countries distrust our commitment and motives. President Trump said he was ‘totally against’ the U.S. invasion in 2003, which led to Iraq’s destabilization and the rise of ISIL. I guess he is not ‘totally against’ leaving its people to suffer the consequences.”

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