WASHINGTON – Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voiced his opposition Monday to President Donald Trump’s executive order that halted immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and stopped Syrian refugees from coming into the United States.
“After taking the time to review this new executive order and discuss its impacts, I believe the scope and executions of the President’s action are not a common sense approach,” Manchin said in a statement. “We should focus all our efforts on identifying potential terrorists, but common sense would tell you a that a 5 year old trying to join their family does not present a threat to our country.”
Manchin, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also said he is concerned that the order was rushed without being “properly vetted” by security advisers.
Protests were held last weekend at airports nationwide against the executive order, which also barred green card holders from re-entering the country. A federal judge in New York blocked part of the order Saturday night.
Trump fired then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night after she directed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the order. In a statement from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Yates “betrayed the Department of Justice” by refusing to enforce the order.
Yates was appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve as Deputy Attorney General in May 2015. She accepted a request by the Trump Administration to serve as Acting Attorney General until a new attorney general was confirmed.
Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will serve as Yates’ replacement.
Manchin joined Democratic lawmakers Monday night in a rally against the executive order. The event was held in front of the Supreme Court.