President Donald Trump’s restrictions on refugees and people from several Muslim-majority countries entering the United States are controversial to say the least.
Several elected leaders in Pennsylvania took to social media to express their opinions about the executive order and the protests that followed.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) tweeted:
“William Penn founded our commonwealth as a safe place for vulnerable people fleeing oppression. This is not who we are.”
“I for one, as an American and as a Pennsylvania, am outraged.”
U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D) left a black tie event Saturday night to go to the Philadelphia International Airport to meet with customs officials after several people were detained. He went on to tweet:
“.@realdonaldtrump made a political decision w/ exec order. Whatever the politics, I won’t stand by as the promise of America is diminished.”
“Generations of Americans have fought for the fundamental principles of this nation. We have a sacred obligation to do the same.”
“If there’s a way to make our refugee screening process better, I’m ready to discuss it.”
“But a #MuslimBan by another name is not who we are and won’t make us any safer.”
On the other side of the aisle, Republican Congressman Lou Barletta tweeted:
“@potus is right to suspend refugee program & focus on Syria & other trouble spots. Flawed program w/security gaps.”
Barletta went on to say:
“I have long called for suspension of refugee program while we can’t properly screen applicants. Must know they are who they say they are.”
Democratic Congressman Matt Cartwright urged President Trump to rethink his “ill-conceived, discriminatory and dangerous executive order banning Muslim travel to this country.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released the following statement on Sunday:
“As the chief legal officers for over 131 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump’s unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith.
“Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth.
“Yesterday, multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the Administration’s dangerous Executive Order. We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values.
“We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created.”
Senator Pat Toomey (R) issued a statement on Monday:
“It is crucial that our nation strike the right balance between defending our people against the deadly threat of international terrorism and providing a safe haven for innocent refugees seeking peace and freedom.
“I support the administration’s decision to increase vetting and temporarily suspend the admission of certain individuals from states that sponsor or provide safe havens to terrorists, or are too weak to prosecute terrorists within their borders. Terrorists have successfully infiltrated refugee populations entering Europe and gone on to commit heinous acts of barbarity. I have long been concerned about our ability to distinguish between predominantly peaceful and innocent refugees, and the likely rare, but lethal, terrorists in the midst of those refugees coming from terror havens and lawless lands. That is why I, along with a bipartisan majority of the House and Senate, supported the SAFE Act, which called for enhanced vetting.
“Unfortunately, the initial executive order was flawed – it was too broad and poorly explained. This apparently resulted in denied entry into the United States for lawful permanent residents and others who should have been allowed immediate entry. Fortunately, the administration has clarified that this order does not apply to Green Card holders and that the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security have the ability to grant exceptions which certainly should apply to, among others, foreign nationals who served the U.S. military in various support roles.
“I look forward to learning more about how the administration intends to enforce this executive order, to determine whether it indeed strikes the appropriate balance between defending our nation and maintaining our ability to provide a safe haven for persecuted individuals.”
We asked for a comment from Congressman Tom Marino (R). His spokesperson said right now, he does not have a statement.