Sen. David Purdue: Trump’s New Immigration EO Protects All Americans from Islamic State

islamic state
Capitol Hill

Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue (R.-Ga.) cheered President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration Monday shortly after the president signed it at the White House.

“Since Day One, President Trump has kept his promise to protect our country and keep all Americans safe,” said Perdue, the only Fortune 500 CEO serving in Congress. He went on:

Trump and his National Security Team have closely examined our vetting procedures for countries with ISIS strongholds and continue to take action to stop ISIS from exploiting our country’s immigration system and refugee programs. They have made several updates to these efforts, including, allowing citizens from adequately vetted countries like Iraq to travel to the United States, and ensuring that people who have been granted green cards can travel to and from our country.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the executive order reflects the president’s concern for the safety of the American people.

“We must undertake a rigorous review of our visa and refugee vetting programs to increase our confidence in the entry decisions we make for visitors and immigrants to the United States. We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives,” he said.

“The executive order signed today is prospective in nature—applying only to foreign nationals outside of the United States who do not have a valid visa,” Kelly said.

“It is important to note that nothing in this executive order affects current lawful permanent residents or persons with current authorization to enter our country,” he said.

“If you have a current valid visa to travel, we welcome you. But unregulated, unvetted travel is not a universal privilege, especially when national security is at stake,” he said.

Monday’s executive order comes after the rough rollout of the Jan. 27 executive order that suspended travelers from seven countries with a limited ability to vet immigrants and refugees: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan. That original executive order was challenged in the courts, and a federal judge blocked the administration from enforcing it.

The new executive order tightens up the loose ends from the Jan. 27 order and reflects a more robust staff process now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is confirmed and in place along with other key staffers. Trump also dropped Iraq from the order after its government pledged to partner with the American government vetting immigrants and refugees from there.

Perdue said the changes from the withdrawn executive order are focused on the real job of the president. “These updates underscore President Trump’s intent to responsibly secure our country and protect all Americans and refugees from our shared enemy, ISIS.”