Lawmakers, Schools React to President Trump’s Immigration and Travel Ban


Governor Branstad.

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  As protests continue over President Trump’s temporary visitation bans from seven countries and indefinite Syrian refugee halt, the president is standing by his decision.

“We actually had a very good day yesterday in terms of homeland security,” said President Trump. “Someday we had to make the move, and we decided to make the move.”

The president has not yet offered any further thoughts on the executive order, but many reactions have been seen throughout the country.

Critics of the ban gathered at airports nationwide, calling the ban anti-Muslim.

Democratic senators are expected to introduce legislation aimed at overturning President Trump’s order.

Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst issued a statement with a word of caution. She wrote, “it is prudent to take the time necessary to reassess the quality and adequacy of the vetting processes we rely on for our refugee and visa programs. With respect to the President’s Executive Order, there must be more clarity surrounding the order’s implementation. In our efforts to protect our nation from ISIS, we also must ensure we are not inadvertently penalizing our allies in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism– especially those who have supported U.S. military efforts in Iraq.”

She also noted that the United States must also address the underlying cause of the crisis by destroying ISIS.

Governor Branstad says the ban is a federal issue, but adds that the move should have been expected.

“This should not have been a surprise to anybody,” he said. “The president campaigned on, uh, taking action to prevent people from coming from countries that don’t have stable governments, where there’s significant Islamic radical extremist activity. And again, this immigration is a federal issue, it’s not something that the state is directly involved in, we want to protect the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

Governor Branstad said university students should not worry about the ban, but did warn them it could be dangerous to travel back to their home countries.

However, some students at Iowa State University are concerned.

There are currently 115 students from the countries identified in the executive order attending Iowa State; the majority of these students are from Iran.

The university says it is aware of three people directly affected by the travel ban, including a school researcher and an Iranian scholar scheduled to visit Iowa this week. Both individuals remain in Iran.

An Iranian graduate student was also denied permission to board his flight to the U.S. from Sweden.

Des Moines Public Schools are also addressing the ban. On Monday, School Board Chair Teree Caldwell-Johnson and Superintendent Tom Ahart released a joint statement, saying, “To all of our students who are immigrants or refugees – and to their friends and classmates and teachers who are also concerned because of these recent events – know that you belong here and Des Moines Public Schools stands by you.”

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