Trump Slams Media Criticism of Refugee, Visa Reforms


President Donald Trump debunked high-volume claims from the media, Muslim and left-wing critics who claim his new 90-day visitor safeguard policy and refugee reform is a blanket “Muslim ban.”

“This is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” Trump said in the Sunday statement, as left-wing and Islamist groups decried his new visitor safeguards in airports around the nation, and protested his planned reduction in refugee inflow to 50,000 per year.

“This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order,” Trump said.

“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months,” said Trump. “The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror,” he added.

The six-month halt in 2011 was quietly imposed by Obama when two legal refugees in Bowling Green, Ky., were discovered to have been jihad attackers in Iraq. The two jihadis had slipped through lax vetting procedures when they were invited to take refuge in the United States.

Trump continued:

America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave. We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say…

We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days. I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.

The executive order, signed by Trump on Friday, will suspend visas for 90 days for “immigrants and non-immigrants” from the conflict-wracked Islamic countries of Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Iran, and Iraq, pending the development of acceptable vetting methods. Many countries with large Muslim populations, such as Saudi Arabia, India, and Indonesia, will not be affected.

The order also cuts the annual inflow of refugees back to 50,000 per year, roughly level with the annual inflows in Obama’s first term. That reduction is strongly opposed by U.S.-based Islamic advocacy groups who favor large-scale Islamic migration into the United States. 

On Thursday, Trump said that his administration would look at creating safe zones in Syria as part of an effort to ease the country’s humanitarian crisis.

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