Ohio Sens. Brown and Portman Have Problems with Trump's Refugee/Immigration Ban

Jan 31, 2017

Both of Ohio’s U.S. Senators are taking issue with President Trump’s executive order on immigration that left many, including some permanent residents with green cards, stranded overseas and in airports over the weekend.

Protests at airports throughout Ohio and nationwide over the new executive order restricting all refugees and people traveling from seven mostly Muslim countries prompted Ohio’s senators to speak out. Republican Rob Portman told CNN it was put in place with too little scrutiny.

“You have an extreme vetting proposal that didn’t get the vetting it should,” Portman said.

Portman says it’s time to slow down and take a close look at how to proceed from here.

“Our country is not as safe as it should be. I’m on the Homeland Security Committee and we have had plenty of emails in the past couple of years that there is not adequate screening, particularly on our visa waiver programs. So I do think we need to tighten things up, and I think there’s a general consensus about that. Congress passed legislation to do so in 2015. But second, we have got to do so in a way that is consistent with our values,” he said.

Democratic U.S. Sen.Sherrod Brown says Trump created a humanitarian crisis.

“And it made us less safe because it just gives more propaganda to the people who want to do us harm,” he said.

Brown says Trump’s lack of experience is even more troubling given the controversial man he’s chosen as one of his closest confidants.

“It seems to me that the person most loudly whispering in the president’s ear is a white nationalist, Steven Bannon, and he has now been put on the security council in an unprecedented kind of move. It concerns me that he has already found a way to have more power in this administration as a white nationalist, a man who has played to racism, has played to anti-semitism. It’s clear that he is all of those things, and he has been elevated in this White House to more, it seems, than an advisory role,” Brown said.

A few Ohio residents, including two doctors from the Cleveland Clinic and a doctoral student at Kent State, were detained because of restrictions put in place by the president's order.

Meanwhile, leaders of cities, businesses and universities throughout the state and nation are weighing in on whether they will cooperate with federal officials by giving them information that could identify residents, employees or students as illegal immigrants. Cincinnati declared itself a sanctuary city this week, and Cleveland and Summit County councils both adopted resolutions condemning Trump's order.