Democrats have slammed President Trump new executive order that tries to bar foreign terrorists from entry into the U.S. by curtailing certain refugees and other visa seekers as discriminatory against Muslims. However, Trump counsel Kellyanne Conway tried to dispel that impression Friday night.
"Kellyanne, I have the executive order in my hand, I went through this. I don't see you guys pointing out anyone by religion. It looks like by origin, national origin, is that right?" asked Fox News fill-in host Eric Bolling on the O'Reilly Factor.
That's right, she said, "It's actually based on a country's history: exporting into training and harboring terrorists. The president said this executive order is meant to protect our nation from terrorists. In effect in means that those countries that have this history [of exporting terrorism]."
During his inaugural address, President Trump promised the U.S. would "eradicate" radical Islamic terrorism. Yet the Friday order did not mention the Islamic State or other known terrorist groups in the Middle East region. In fact, the 2,708-word document does not contain one reference to Islam or those who practice the religion.
The action tightens protocols for visa programs in Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq.
The order may suspend refugee admissions from those nations for four months until the administration makes a conclusion about which post the greatest risk to national security. The order did not include Saudi Arabia, located in-between all of those countries.
"Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded has been stomped upon," Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said in a statement.
On Thursday, ahead of the expected announcement, Gov. Dannel Malloy, D-Conn., said the move would go against the Constitution to discriminate against refugees based on religion.
"We should not be discriminating against refugees based on what their religion is. It's against our Constitution, it's against the fabric of who we are and what we are. Quite frankly, if you look at the criminal history of refugees, it's a lot less than the criminal history of people born in this country," Malloy said.