These Are the Republicans for and Against President Trump's Muslim Travel Ban

January 29th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

A small group of Republican legislators is coming out against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

McCain and Graham released a joint statement on Sunday opposing Trump's order banning entry into the United States of certain foreign nationals or refugees from seven countries with a Muslim-majority population.

The statement said that the executive action was at odds with deeply held American values:

"We should not turn our backs on those refugees who have been shown through extensive vetting to pose no demonstrable threat to our nation, and who have suffered unspeakable horrors, most of them women and children."

It was a sentiment shared by a few other Republicans.

"While I've supported heightened vetting procedures for those wanting to travel to our country, I have never, nor will I ever support, a blanket travel ban for people solely based on ethnic or religious grounds," said Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., in a Facebook post.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., opposed Trump's executive order on logistical grounds.

"I object to the suspension of visas from the seven named countries because we could have accomplished our objective of keeping our homeland safe by immediate implementation of more thorough screening procedures," Ros-Lehtinen told the Miami Herald.

Some Republicans have tried angling for middle ground on the issue.

They include Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who stopped short of condemning the executive order outright in an interview Sunday with ABC's "This Week."

“I don't want to criticize them for improving vetting," McConnell said. But, he said, "I think we need to be careful; we don't have religious tests in this country."

McConnell added: "It's going to be decided in the courts as to whether or not this has gone too far."

But a large majority of Republican legislators supports the president's executive order.

"President Trump is right to make sure we are doing everything possible to know exactly who is entering our country," Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., told The Washington Post.

Ryan, who is the most powerful Republican outside the White House, is joined by other high-ranking Republicans, including Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

McCaul said in a statement that Trump had already done "more to shut down terrorist pathways into this country than the last administration did in eight years."

For more information about which Republican lawmakers oppose Trump's executive order, check out The Washington Post and Vox.