Now that President Donald Trump has signed a pair of executive orders for building a new wall on the southwest border and for cracking down on illegal immigration he is reportedly setting his sights on restricting legal immigration.
The Republican president, according to multiple press reports, is preparing to sign other executive orders this week that would:
• Cap the number of refugees who could be resettled in the U.S. this fiscal year at 50,000, down from the 110,000 ceiling set by the Obama administration;
• Halt the resettlement of refugees in the U.S. for four months, giving the government time to evaluate the security screening process;
• Block the issuance of visas to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
During his campaign, Trump initially proposed barring all Muslims from entering the U.S., citing security concerns. But he later shifted his focus on restricting access from “terror prone” countries. In the fiscal year ending in September, 3,017 refugees were resettled in Georgia, mostly from Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Syria.
In an interview on ABC News this week, Trump denied he is attempting to ban Muslims.
“No, it’s not the Muslim ban,” he said. “But it’s countries that have tremendous terror. It’s countries that we’re going to be spelling out in a little while in the same speech. And it’s countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems. Our country has enough problems without allowing people to come in who, in many cases or in some cases, are looking to do tremendous destruction.”
A coalition of Georgia civil rights, immigration and refugee organizations is preparing to respond to Trump’s plans at a 2:30 p.m. news conference in Atlanta today.
“These unnecessary and bigoted executive orders will not make America safer,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Georgia, said in a prepared statement announcing the news conference. “They will make our nation less welcoming and more fearful.”