Kansas lawmakers in Washington expressed cautious support for President Donald Trump’s executive order barring the entry of refugees and noncitizens from several countries after protests erupted nationwide over the weekend.
Both Kansas senators and three of the state’s four House members all supported the basic principle of Trump’s executive action, which bars the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, but all said that Congress should have been consulted on the policy.
Kansas has a vacant House seat due to the appointment of Rep. Mike Pompeo to the CIA.
After multiple federal courts temporarily blocked enforcement of Trump’s policy, the White House backed away from its hardline stance of turning away people from the seven countries with valid U.S. visas or green cards. The countries include Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
While most Democrats reacted angrily to Trump’s actions on Saturday, most Republicans stayed quiet on the subject until late Sunday or Monday.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters gathered at airports in New York, Washington, Miami, Dallas, Charlotte, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Chicago.
A group funded by Wichita industrialist Charles Koch also slammed the ban.
Here’s what Kansas members of Congress, all Republicans, said about it:
“I agree with President Trump that we need a major overhaul of our immigration system and a better vetting process for those entering our nation,” said Sen. Pat Roberts. “However, we need to strike a balance that protects the rights of Americans and those permitted to enter the country legally. The president needs to work with Congress to ensure every aspect of a major policy change such as this is taken into consideration.”
“While I support thorough vetting, I do not support restricting the rights of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents,” said Sen. Jerry Moran. “Furthermore, far-reaching national security policy should always be devised in consultation with Congress and relevant government agencies.”
“While I understand President Trump’s intentions, this executive order was painted too broadly,” said Rep. Lynn Jenkins. “I encourage President Trump to work with Congress to strengthen our borders and vetting process.”
“The president should have our nation’s support to carry out his mission to protect our nation’s borders, but he must do so without unnecessarily burdening lawful entrants into the United States or discriminating against specific religions,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder. “The President should work with Congress to come up with clear procedures to ensure that our refugee program can continue in the safest manner possible.”
“President Trump is ensuring that he is doing all he can to protect us from radical Islamic terror, and to secure channels of migration in the future,” said Rep. Roger Marshall. “Though we would like to see a more specific definition worked through Congress, we understand the need for quick action, and we stand by him in this effort.”