WASHINGTON — One by one, Georgia’s Republican members of Congress appear to be lining up behind President Donald Trump’s divisive executive order barring some Middle Eastern refugees from entering the country.
Four of the 12 Republicans elected to represent the Peach State in the House and Senate have come out largely in favor of the executive action, which indefinitely blocks Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. and temporarily suspends the citizens of six other Middle Eastern countries from traveling here.
GOP U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said it was “wise” of Trump to secure the country’s borders and fulfill his campaign promises but added that the president should have done more to cut down on confusion, including consulting with Congress and the people tasked with carrying out the order.
“I think they need to clarify the confusion that’s out there on greencards and things like that,” Isakson said in an interview Monday. “The people who are actually on the ground need to know exactly what it is they’re doing.”
Signed on Friday afternoon, the order has drawn scorn from Democrats, immigrant and civil rights groups. It quickly created chaos across the globe and in Atlanta as scores of refugees were detained at airports, including 11 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A federal judge’s order temporarily prevented the government from deporting some arrivals.
The majority of Georgia’s 16-man congressional delegation, including vocal Trump ally U.S. Sen. David Perdue, has kept quiet. We’ve reached out for comment and will update this post as we hear more in the days ahead.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson: “President Trump is continuing to try and deliver on the promises he made in the campaign, which I think is a positive aspect of what he’s trying to do. I do think in the case of the immigration issue that the mandate over the weekend was not very well vetted and the people designed to carry out the mandate didn’t know what the mandate was, and when asked some of the questions it didn’t sound like the White House knew what it was exactly. They’ve amended it a couple times already. You need to be very careful when you’re issuing executive orders or passing laws that you vet them all the way through the system so you can carry them out once they’re in place.”
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler: “In the world we currently live in, it is smart and necessary to put in place the most robust national security vetting process ever to know exactly who is entering our country so we can continue to welcome those who believe in America’s freedom and share our values.”
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville: “It is possible to welcome refugees to our country while maintaining robust national security measures, and it is time to restore balance to this relationship by evaluating our entry processes in light of credible threats to our citizens … In this temporary measure, President Trump has given us the opportunity to get refugee policy right going forward.”
U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Evans: “First and foremost we must protect our homeland– the executive order does that– and keeps Americans safe until we can reform our visa process and the vetting of refugees.”
Democratic U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson of Lithonia and John Lewis of Atlanta have been vocal critics of the policy and visited the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Saturday to monitor the refugee situation.
No Georgia Republicans that we know of have joined the roughly 50 GOP lawmakers who have voiced reservations or flatly opposed the policy.
U.S. Sen David Perdue; Republican U.S. Reps. Drew Ferguson of West Point, Tom Price of Roswell, Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville, Austin Scott of Tifton, Jody Hice of Monroe, Barry Loudermilk of Cassville, Tom Graves of Ranger.
We also have yet to hear Georgia’s two more centrist Democrats in the House, Sanford Bishop of Albany and David Scott of Atlanta.