Dem vets urge senators to reject presidential orders on immigration
Posted January 31
Updated February 1
Raleigh, N.C. — Democratic office holders who are also military veterans on Tuesday called on Republican U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr to condemn President Donald Trump's executive order that temporarily blocks refugees from Syria and six other predominantly Muslim countries.
Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, said Tillis and Burr should follow the lead of other Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky and denounce Trump's order. The order sparked protests at airports in major cities such as New York and Dallas as well as at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Tillis released a statement Sunday saying Trump's order caused confusion and called for its refinement. Burr's press office hasn't yet offered a comment.
Martin, along with state Sens. Don Davis, D-Greene, Jeff Jackson, D-Mecklenburg, and other Democratic veterans called Trump's executive order dangerous. Citing tours overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq, the lawmakers called the executive order a tool for Islamic State forces and other terrorist organizations and a said it may be a potential hindrance to overseas troops seeking help from local citizens.
"It makes it easier for ISIS and many others, to recruit people to do harm to America by creating the false presumption that America is somehow at war with the religion of Islam," Martin said.
Despite Trump's order, U.S. officials announced Tuesday afternoon more than 870 refugees will be allowed in the U.S. because of a hardship loophole. Martin praised the news as a "compassionate look at hardship cases," but he said it highlights one of the order's biggest flaws.
"President Trump didn't go beyond his immediate circle for guidance on this," Martin said.
The inter-agency confusion surrounding the immigration status of those lawfully holding green cards and visas was decried by both Republicans and Democrats nationally, and the order itself will be argued in court in the coming weeks after a federal court judge issued a nationwide stay late Saturday night.
"There is a lot of confusion surrounding the order, particularly given the instances of green card holders inexplicably being denied entry back into the United States," Tillis said. "The order should be refined to provide more clarity and mitigate unintended consequences."