On Sunday, January 29, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released a statement regarding President Donald Trump’s Executive Order that halts entry of refugees into the United States for the next 120 days. The order, signed Friday, halts Syrian refugees indefinitely and, for the next 90 days, closes the country from six other predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Zeldin’s statement reads:
“I support the temporary entry restriction from certain nations until the administration, Congress and the American people know with confidence that any individual being granted admission does not pose a threat to our security. As the Executive Order correctly states, ‘Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.’ Additionally, lawful permanent residents and green card holders should not be adversely impacted by this Executive Order. Every American has sympathy for the innocent person who is looking to come to America for a better life, but the process must without exception prioritize America’s national security first. We cannot allow someone entry until we know for sure they will not pose a risk. The ultimate humanitarian victory is to assist with efforts to stabilize these nations and eliminate the threats there to peace. With all that being said, I will be closely monitoring the execution of this EO to make sure that any misapplication is corrected immediately.”
Trump’s order has raised many questions about its constitutionality, who exactly it targets, whether or not it was passed without proper checks and balances, and how it will be enforced, according to The New York Times, which notes, “The order’s apparent breaches with usual protocol over how policy is made, and potentially with the law, are already creating major problems in its enforcement.”
The fact that many prominent Republicans, Zeldin among them, are supporting Trump’s order, or at least not challenging it “raises questions about whether American political norms could shift—or already have—to allow for policies that were considered unthinkable only a year ago,” the Times writes.
Let’s hope Zeldin holds true to his word about monitoring this closely and puts constitutional law ahead of partisan politics.
Make your voice heard on this issue, for or against, by contacting Lee Zeldin here.