- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 28, 2017

Democratic leadership in the House and Senate slammed President Trump’s signing of a broad executive order targeting refugees Friday as antithetical to the nation’s tradition of welcoming “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

“As the Statue of Liberty holds her torch of welcome high, there are tears in her eyes as she sees how low this Administration has stooped in its callousness toward mothers and children escaping war-torn Syria,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Friday.

“Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded has been stomped upon,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, said in a statement of his own.

The lawmakers’ comments came within hours of Mr. Trump issuing an executive order Friday effectively closing the United States’ borders to citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries as part of what the president has touted as a plan to eradicate Islamic terrorism as promised on the campaign trail. The order temporarily bars entry to citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, as well as suspending accepting Syrian asylum seekers “until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made …  to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.”

Other Democrats similarly denounced the president’s order into the weekend, contrasting his so-called “Muslim Ban” with the credo that has greeted millions of immigrants arriving in the U.S. by way of Ellis Island and its neighboring landmark, the Statue of Liberty.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” reads a sonnet inscribed on the base of the statue.

“Trump’s action is not based on national security, it is based on bigotry. Lady Liberty is crying.” Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat, said in a statement Friday.

“I can think of few things more un-American than discriminating against people seeking refuge on our shores because of their religion. This action betrays who we are as a country and makes us less safe,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat.

The libertarian Cato Institute said in a report last year that 20 of the 3.2 million refugees admitted into the U.S. between 1975 and 2015 were terrorists, amounting to around 0.00062 percent of total refugees allowed.

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