MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota Republican congressman criticized President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries Monday, joining a growing number of GOP lawmakers who’ve expressed concerns that the executive order Trump issued on Friday goes too far.
“Unfortunately, the President’s executive order is too broad and has been poorly implemented and conceived,” U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen said in a statement. “It is clear from the events this weekend that the executive order does not ensure that legal residents, including green card holders, and non-threats, such as those who served alongside the American military in Iraq, are treated fairly and with the dignity they deserve.”
Another Minnesota Republican, Rep. Tom Emmer, told WCCO-TV people should “take a deep breath.” He said Trump’s order isn’t a travel ban but a temporary suspension, and it’s not a litmus test based on religion.
But Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, said that’s precisely what it is.
“It’s absolutely a Muslim ban and more seriously it’s a religiously based ban,” Ellison said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” pointing to Trump’s previous statements.
Minnesota’s only other Republican in Congress, Rep. Jason Lewis, was generally supportive of Trump. Americans expect their government to properly vett people who wish to harm the U.S., he said in a statement. But he also said he doesn’t support religious tests for immigration or banning entry for green card holders, no matter where they are flying from, nor people who’ve aided the U.S. military.
Most of Minnesota’s other Democratic representatives and senators condemned the order, though the reaction was more muted from Rep. Collin Peterson, a conservative Democrat.
“I have reservations with how the Administration has gone about this process with a broad stroke of the pen, instead of working with Congress to ensure a dialogue and getting to a sensible solution,” Peterson said in a statement.
There were no immediate reports of any travelers detained at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a result of the order, but immigration lawyers were standing by there in case they were needed, said Regina Jeffries of the Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School.
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