Rubio: State asked not to talk travel ban with Congress

Greg Nash

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says State Department officials have been instructed not to discuss President Trump’s temporary travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations with Congress.

“I don’t know the reason,” he told reporters Monday. “Maybe perhaps they’re still kind of working through how this is going to apply.”

“That cannot be a permanent position,” Rubio added, noting State Department officials revealed the order to his staff. “We expect answers here fairly soon because we have constituents calling.”

{mosads}Rubio unsuccessfully competed against Trump in last year’s GOP presidential primary before ultimately endorsing the billionaire before Election Day.

Trump signed an executive order last Friday imposing a 90-day halt on visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The measure also froze all general refugee admissions into the U.S. for 120 days, adding an indefinite pause on Syrian refugees on account of Syria’s ongoing civil war.

Trump’s decision has since sparked global debate, with Democrats and human rights groups calling it unconstitutional and unfairly biased against Muslims.

The president rejected those criticisms Sunday, however, arguing his action is crucial for helping protect national security.

“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” he said in a statement. “This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

Reports emerged earlier Monday a group of State Department diplomats, meanwhile, is weighing publicly criticizing Trump’s order with a “dissent” memo.

“This ban…will not achieve its stated aim to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States,” the draft says. “This ban will little practical effect in improving public safety…[and] calls back to some of the worst times in our history.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said later that day dissatisfied State officials “should either get with the program or they can go.”

Tags Immigration Marco Rubio Muslims Politics refugees State Deparment

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