Rep. John Katko comments on President Trump’s executive order concerning immigration
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April 20, 2017
There has been much uncertainty throughout the nation following President Trump’s signing of the executive order limiting immigration from countries in the Middle East with predominantly Muslim populations. Residents of Syracuse, NY as well as the Le Moyne community, have faced uncertainty following the executive order due to Syracuse’s status as a sanctuary city for refugees, many of which are from the banned nations listed in the executive order.
Under the executive order persons from Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Libya, largely immigrants and refugees, have been temporarily banned entry into the United States. There has been a large influx of refugees fleeing from these nations due to the current turmoil and violence in the Middle East. These nations also have predominantly Muslim populations.
As House Representative of New York’s 24th Congressional District, which encompasses much of central New York and Syracuse, the stance of Rep. John Katko [R] on this order is important in determining the future of the substantial refugee and immigrant population of Syracuse.
According to a statement released by the office of Rep. John Katko, through his work as chief of the House Homeland Security Committee he “has come to the distinct conclusion that ISIS and other bad actors are trying to infiltrate the West through the refugee process.” Through this information, Katko agrees with the intent of Mr. Trump’s executive order, however, he does have concerns “that it could potentially deny entrance to our country to lawful, permanent residents and dual citizens.”
Rep. Katko recognizes that it is hard to vet refugees fleeing from ISIS controlled territories, due to the lack of resources available from their home country to screen them, and that this could have factored into the decision of the executive order. However, he also holds that Mr. Trump would be able to find a more suitable solution to both increasing security and allowing legitimate refugees and immigrants to enter the United States if he had consulted with more experts on the matter.
Rep. Katko believes that the best way to work to ensure the safety of the American people is to strengthen the vetting processes used to screen refugees and immigrants. In doing this, the United States would increase it’s homeland security while still accepting “refugees and those fleeing oppression.”
On Syracuse’s status as a sanctuary city for refugees, Rep. Katko is not too concerned with cuts to funding in the area of assisting immigrants and refugees. He believes that Syracuse is in need of funding due to low numbers in the police force and high crime rates, not in the area of immigrants and refugees entering or inhibiting Syracuse.
Even though he doesn’t completely agree with the path of the executive order, and states that the first few days of the Trump presidency have “had some hiccups,” Rep. Katko presents an optimistic view on the future. According to Katko, there are positive economic standpoints to the Trump presidency. He also expresses the desire for congressmen and women to cross the aisle to work on party unity and help the Trump presidency to succeed in guiding the uncertain future the United States faces.