HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – People in the Midstate are reacting to President Donald Trump’s executive order limiting immigration and refugees. They have strong opinions both for and against the move.
Leaders at the Hadee Mosque said they hope the President uses common sense and remembers the humanitarian needs of other countries.
“We obviously understand the need to keep our country safe,” said Mubashir Mumtaz, spokesperson for the Hadee Mosque.
The executive order bans immigrants from entering the country for 90 days. The list includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. It also suspends allowing refugees into the United States for 120 days and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.
“This is also an American ideal that we go and help people out in need who are being persecuted in their own countries, in their own town, or who do not have safe havens to live in,” Mumtaz said.
“Singling out a specific set of countries, I think that is totally un-American,” Mohammed Safiullah said.
Safiullah emigrated from India in 1990 and came to the Harrisburg area in 1998.
“The real terrorists, if they want to harm America, they will show America now and portray as an enemy, especially of Islam and Muslims,” Safiullah said. “This is exactly playing into their hands.”
Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA 11th) sent ABC27 News the following statement:
“In a sense, the reaction from some quarters to President Trump’s executive order is understandable, because people are not used to a president who intends to enforce the borders of the United States. It is the president’s job to protect the American people. And it is also important to recognize that citizens of foreign nations simply do not have the right to unfettered admission to the United States. What the president has done is to ensure that we have the time and capability to accurately determine the background of people seeking access to this country. The tiny percentage of travelers who are affected will experience only minor inconveniences while the new policies are enacted.
“Let’s remember that President Obama did the same thing when he suspended refugee applications from Iraq for six months in 2011. I somehow do not recall the same level of outrage at that time. It is now, as it was then, within the president’s authority to suspend or halt the admission of people from certain nations in the interest of American national security.
“Additionally, those who are complaining about the omission of certain nations from the restrictions seem to be contradicting their own arguments against President Trump’s actions. While they are in reality opposing his actions entirely, they are simultaneously claiming that he didn’t go far enough. This completely undermines their arguments in opposition to his order.
“Finally, I will add that I am very concerned about the reaction of Canada’s prime minister, who has declared that his country will accept any and all refugees who want to emigrate to that nation. While we are attempting to increase the security of our own borders, he is advocating the relaxing of his own nation’s defenses. This is a reminder that we should be concerned about the security of all of our borders: northern, southern, maritime, or at international airports.”
“You are innocent until you are proven guilty, but this seems to be the reverse. You are already guilty. Now you have to prove your innocence,” Safiullah said.
Safiullah believes the executive order stems from fear of immigrants, while Barletta said it will help protect the country from ISIS.