- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s two Republicans in Congress are standing with President Donald Trump in his executive order on immigration, while the lone Democrat in the state delegation calls the order “outrageous.”

Meanwhile, the state’s two largest universities are cautioning their international students to stay put, and dozens of refugees scheduled to resettle in North Dakota have had their trips canceled.

Trump’s move temporarily bars refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. The move has sparked widespread protest.

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said in a statement that she thinks Trump’s move will hurt the war on terror in part because it “confirms the lie terrorists tell their recruits: that America is waging a war on Islam. This is outrageous.”

“We face the very real threat of homegrown terrorism from U.S. citizens and non-citizens who could seize on anti-refugee and anti-immigrant policies as opportunities rather than obstacles,” Heitkamp said.

Republican Rep. Rep. Kevin Cramer said in a statement that “to suggest that this somehow emboldens or incites our enemies is to put our enemies in control of American policy, and that’s just not right.”

“What Donald Trump is doing is pulling America’s head out of the sand and facing the reality that we have not been kept very safe by current immigration and refugee policies,” Cramer said.

Republican Sen. John Hoeven said in a statement that terrorism is a “very real threat” and that a review of the nation’s refugee policy is reasonable “to make sure America is safe.”

North Dakota’s two largest universities have cautioned their international students to not travel, so they don’t find themselves in a situation where they might not be able to return to campus.

North Dakota State University late last week emailed students from the seven countries urging them to meet with an adviser if they have plans to travel outside the U.S. “Most likely, it will be recommended you do not leave,” the email said.

The University of North Dakota in a weekend Facebook post cautioned all international students not to travel, “even to Canada.”

“We don’t know if there will be countries added to the list. We don’t know what will happen,” International Programs Director Katie Davidson said in a Monday interview.

Trump’s order also means that more than 40 refugees scheduled to resettle in North Dakota in the next month won’t be able to do so, according to Jessica Thomasson, CEO of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota. It also means uncertainty about travel for hundreds of refugee families already settled in the state, she said.


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