President Donald Trump hit back at critics protesting his executive order restricting travel and suspending refugee admissions with a simple question.
"Where was all the outrage from Democrats and the opposition party (the media) when our jobs were fleeing our country?" the president wrote in a Jan. 30 Twitter post.
Trump's comment came amid mass protests as individuals with proper documentation were detained in U.S. airports, following the executive order to suspend travel from seven Muslim-majority countries with for 90 days, stopped admitting Syrian refugees indefinitely and suspended all other refugee admissions for 120 days, reports The Guardian. The order also instructed refugee programs to prioritize religious minorities such as Christians coming from majority-Muslim nations.
Federal judges in four states have ruled not to deport anyone from the U.S. with valid documentation, such as a visa or green card, if they traveled at the time that Trump signed and enacted the order, since it was effective immediately and did not give a warning period, which the president said was a strategic move.
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"If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the 'bad' would rush into our country during that week," the president tweeted on Jan 30. "A lot of bad 'dudes' out there!"
Though protesters have called Trump's order a discriminatory and unconstitutional "Muslim ban," the president said that he is doing something similar to what former President Barack Obama did in 2011, when Iraqi refugee applications were delayed for six months after new screening procedures caused a processing backlog, notes The Boston Globe.
"This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe," Trump wrote in a Jan. 30 Facebook statement. "There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days."
He went on to say that he has "tremendous feeling for the people … in Syria" and that he will "find ways to help all those who are suffering," though his top priority is protecting Americans.
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"America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border," he added. "America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave."