Washington – Facing a widening wave of protests against an executive order that bans immigrants from seven countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, President Donald Trump issued a statement Sunday defending his policy, which he said was aimed at protecting U.S. citizens and borders.
In his official statement, Trump said that his country would continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression but would always seek to protect its own citizens and borders.
Trump compared his policy to that of former President Barack Obama in 2011, when the latter banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.
He stressed that the seven countries included in the ban, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Sudan, had previously been identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.
“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” Trump said in the statement.
“There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days,” he added.
Meanwhile, attorneys general from 16 U.S. states, including California, New York and Pennsylvania, issued a joint statement on Sunday condemning Trump’s executive order.
“We are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created,” the statement said.
On Monday, Senate Democrats introduced a bill in hopes of unraveling the temporary immigration ban on citizens.
Senator Chris Murphy said in a statement: “Trump’s discriminatory executive order does not reflect who we are as Americans, and it puts our service members and the American public at risk.”