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Donald Trump doing what he promised during campaign: White House defends ban

The White House also pushed back on the argument that the executive orders literally means a ban on Muslims.

By: PTI | Washington |
January 29, 2017 10:34:14 pm
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY Defending Donald Trump’s order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations, the White House on Sunday said the US President was only delivering what he promised during his campaign, even as the decision invited backlash from some of his own Republican party members. (Source: Reuters Photo)

Defending Donald Trump’s order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations, the White House on Sunday said the US President was only delivering what he promised during his campaign, even as the decision invited backlash from some of his own Republican party members. “This is nothing new. President Trump talked about this throughout the campaign and throughout the transition,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told ABC News.

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“Protecting this nation and our people is the number one priority of this president and our government,” Spicer said in a defence of the executive orders signed by Trump earlier this week which calls for temporary ban on nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US. The order immediately suspends entry of Syrian refugees into the US and bans nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Somalia for at least 90 days.

Spicer said the countries were first flagged as “countries of particular concern” by the previous administration of Barack Obama. “They should be asked certain questions. They should go through certain vetting,” Spicer said.

The White House also pushed back on the argument that the executive orders literally means a ban on Muslims.

“These seven countries, what about the 46 majority Muslim countries that are not included. Right there, it totally undercuts this nonsense that this is a Muslim ban,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News separately.

“This is a ban on prospective travel from countries, trying to prevent terrorists in this country, from countries that have a recent history of training and exporting and harboring terrorists,” she said.

However, three Republican Senators – Ben Sasse, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake – joined the anti-Executive Order protest. “The president is right to focus attention on the obvious fact that borders matter. At the same time, while not technically a Muslim ban, this order is too broad,” said Sasse.

In a statement, Flake called the order unacceptable.

“President Trump and his administration are right to be concerned about national security, but it’s unacceptable when even legal permanent residents are being detained or turned away at airports and ports of entry,” he said.

“Enhancing long term national security requires that we have a clear-eyed view of radical Islamic terrorism without ascribing radical Islamic terrorist views to all Muslims,” Flake said.

Lawyers have begun to throng American airports, offering legal assistance to people who were detained at the airports. Volunteer lawyers, sitting on the floor at airport terminals, worked pro-bono on a preparing habeas corpus petitions for detainees at the JFK.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) National said on Twitter “If you know someone entering country, tell them not to sign anything before talking to lawyer.”

Appearing on CNN, Senator Rob Portman said the travel ban imposed on people from seven countries were identified by the previous administration. “I think the previous homeland security secretary had named those countries because of a lack of information and the fact that either ISIS or al Qaeda was present in those countries,” he said.

“In my view, we ought to all take a deep breath and come up with something that makes sense for our national security and, again, for this notion that America has always been a welcoming home for refugees and immigrants,” he said.

“In fact, we are more welcoming than any country in the world, and we should continue to do so,” Portman said.

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