Oregon Sens. Wyden, Merkley denounce Trump’s revised travel order

Oregon Sens. Wyden, Merkley denounce Trump’s revised travel order


By:  Christopher Frisella

Oregon’s two U.S. senators on Monday denounced President Trump’s revised order restricting travel for residents of six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily banning refugees.

The new order halts travel for 90 days for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The suspension of the U.S. refugee program will last 120 days.

The order, which takes effect March 16, incorporated changes to help it withstand court challenges that blocked the original order.

Among the changes, the new order:

•Drops Iraq from the list of countries whose residents were barred.

•Removes language that would give priority to religious minorities.

•Does not single out Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban.

Trump officials say that, as before, the goal is to keep would-be terrorists out of the country while the government reviews the vetting system for refugees and visa applicants.

The Oregon senators, both Democrats, said the order remains troubling.

“Today’s order is little more than a warmed-over rehash of the original,” Sen. Ron Wyden said in a statement. “It remains a barely disguised religious ban that will do absolutely nothing to protect our country.

“If there was any doubt this was about satisfying a far-right wing fantasy, not security, the month-long delay in reissuing the ban is concrete proof,” he said.

Sen. Jeff Merkley said the order fails to achieve its stated objective of security.

“Just like the old ban, the new ban makes our country less safe,” Merkley said in a statement. “Giving ISIS propaganda while ‘solving’ a problem that the Department of Homeland Security itself says doesn’t exist is, to put it diplomatically, unwise.”

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, a Democrat who represents Oregon’s 1st Congressional District, also condemned the travel order.

“Don’t be fooled — new Executive Order is just repackaged ban on refugees and immigrants,” Bonamici said on Twitter. “Blocking refugees is un-American and unacceptable.”