Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Tim Scott (S.C.) issued a joint statement Sunday evening expressing concern over President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily blocking all entry from seven predominantly Muslim nations into the United States.
"After reviewing the recent Executive Orders, it is clear to us that some of what is being said and reported about the scope and implications of these measures is misleading,” the senators said. “However, it is also clear that the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days.”
The order was met with confusion by those it impacted. CNN reported that the Trump administration "avoided the traditional interagency process that would have allowed the Justice Department and homeland security agencies to provide operational guidance" for the order and its implementation. Protests erupted at airports across the country where travelers were being detained.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) spoke to protesters at Dulles International Airport outside the nation's capital, where protests have lasted for days. Customs and Border Protection agents at the airport allegedly defied a federal judge's order to allow attorneys from speaking with the lawful permanent residents that were detained face-to-face. Additionally, a 5-year old boy was detained for several hours at Dulles on Saturday following Trump's order.
Scott and Rubio added that “we generally support additional vetting for many of those entering our country from nations where the United States has identified there are serious concerns regarding terrorist activities and planning.”
“But given the broad scope and nature of these policy changes, we have some unanswered questions and concerns,” they said.
The Republican senators said they are seeking “clarity on the changes to the Visa Waiver program,” which they called “critical” to the economies of the states they represent.
“We are uneasy about the potential impact of these measures on our military and our diplomatic personnel abroad, as well as those who put their lives on the line to work with us,” Rubio and Scott added:
We are both committed to doing what we must to keep America safe. We are equally committed to the defense of religious liberty and our tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution. Like so many Americans, we are both guided by our belief that when we stand before our Creator to face judgment, He will say that 'to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' That is why we intend to do all we can to both keep America safe, and keep America special.
Politico reported that Rubio, Trump’s former Republican primary rival, is “unhappy” with the president’s approach to foreign policy.
An unnamed Republican “familiar with Rubio’s thinking” told Politico that “this is exactly what Marco worried about.”
“But Trump leads our party. And, really, there’s only so much he can do,” the source added.