Scott Statement on President Trump’s Immigration and Refugee Executive Order

January 29, 2017
Press Release

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s Executive Order stopping immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries, suspending all refugee resettlement for 120 days, and barring all Syrian refugees indefinitely:

“President Trump’s immigration executive order runs afoul of American values and our constitution by essentially creating a religious test for entry into the United States and denying due process to green card holders who have been unable to reenter the country.  Furthermore, by slamming the door shut to refugees fleeing unimaginable violence overrunning Syria and Iraq, the President has seriously damaged the moral credibility of the United States and only bolstered anti-American sentiment that is a key recruitment tool for terrorist organizations, such as ISIS.

“On its face, the President’s executive order as it pertains to refugees is a solution in search of a problem.  In contrast to refugees entering Europe, refugees who are resettled in the United States go through a rigorous, multi-agency, multi-step vetting process that can take 18 to 24 months, during which time the refugee seeking resettlement is required to remain in a refugee camp.  The overwhelming majority of those who make it through the process are women and children, survivors of violence and torture, and those with severe medical conditions.  If the President is concerned with the current process, he should work with Congress to identify problems and make any needed improvements.

“Finally, I am very proud of the thousands of Americans who swiftly took action by organizing protests against this executive order at major points of entry and that legal organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately filed challenges to this order.  These efforts send a clear message that the President’s actions are contrary to American values.

“The President should listen to the American people and immediately rescind this executive order.  If he fails to do so, Congress must take appropriate action to address the order’s constitutional problems and openly debate and vote on whether or not our nation should be a beacon of hope to the world.”

# # #