California Rep. Pete Aguilar (D), who represents the district that includes San Bernardino, blasted the Trump administration for citing the 2015 attack in the city to support its temporary immigration ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
“Stop exploiting the San Bernardino community to justify Muslim ban. Use of 12/2 attack to score political points is despicable,” Aguilar wrote on Twitter to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Fourteen people were killed and 22 were injured on Dec. 2, 2015, at a San Bernardino community center when two people opened fire.
Shooter Syed Rizwan Farook was a U.S.-born citizen of Pakistani descent; his wife, Tashfeen Malik, was born in Pakistan and was a legal permanent resident of the U.S.
Pakistan is not one of the seven countries included in Trump's 90-day ban on U.S. entry. The executive order applies to Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The couple is not believed to have had ties to any of those countries.
Spicer has invoked the San Bernardino shooting as he explains Trump's executive action, claiming the attack could have been prevented if Trump’s order had been in place at the time.
In the wake of the San Bernardino attack, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” He and his team later said the policy would focus on countries of origin, not religion.
The executive order also indefinitely halts Syrian refugees from entering the country and suspends the entire refugee program for 120 days.