As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, my main priority is to keep the American people safe. Our refugee system is in need of reform to ensure that terrorist groups do not use it as a gateway into the United States as they have done in Europe. For that reason, I am supportive of efforts to more thoroughly vet the 80 million people who enter the United States from overseas each year and to reform our refugee program. It is the number one job of a President to protect the American people.
President Trump’s executive order does a number of things, including placing a temporary freeze (90 days) on foreign nationals coming into the United States from seven terror prone countries, a list which was used by President Obama's Administration, and pausing the refugee program for those countries. This is not a Muslim ban. I would never support that.
The White House has assured the public that Green Card holders will still be able to enter the country moving forward. I believe those who have already gone through the vetting required to obtain legal status in the United States should still be able to travel to and from the United States.
I am optimistic that a pause and reexamining of our vetting system will result in a stronger system that allows screened foreign nationals from everywhere to continue traveling to the United States, while also ensuring those entering are not here to do us harm. I am hopeful in the future the Administration will work more closely with Congress and the implementing agencies to ensure that well intended policies do not cause the confusion they understandably did this weekend for the public.
Poe is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation & Trade.