Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, defended Trump’s recent executive order barring refugees and people from select Muslim countries from entering the U.S. during an interview on Fox News on Sunday.
Speaking with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Conway said that the travel headaches caused by the executive order are a “small price to pay” in return for security. She was responding to a question from Wallace, who asked if the administration had thought through all of the consequences of the executive order before implementing it.
“You’re talking about 325,000 people from overseas came into this country just yesterday through our airports,” Conway said. “You’re talking about 300 and some who have been detained or are prevented from gaining access to an aircraft in their home countries and must stay for now.”
“That’s 1 percent,” she added. “And I think in terms of the upside being greater protection of our borders, of our people, it’s a small price to pay.”
Conway explained that she has been informed by officials that of the people who were detained at U.S. airports over the weekend, as long as they are not a threat, they will be released in “due course.”
“If they’re vetted, it’s a routine screening process that they’ll go through,” Conway said. “If they’re not dangerous, if they’re not a threat, then … they’re situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.”
She also pushed back against the narrative that the executive order is splitting up families, calling any separation “temporary.”
“This whole idea that they’re being separated and ripped from their families, it’s temporary,” Conway explained.
Trump immigration executive order, signed Friday, temporarily halts the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days so that officials can devise an efficient and effective vetting process. The executive order also temporarily bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia — from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
Because of the order, refugees with official U.S. visas were detained at U.S. ports of entry on Friday and Saturday, causing thousands of demonstrators to protest at airports across the country. In response, a federal judge issued an emergency stay allowing all U.S. visa holders entry into the U.S. if they were already on U.S. soil or in transit to America.
Watch Conway’s interview with Wallace below: