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Senator: 'Ill-Conceived' Travel Ban Helps Terrorists

Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland denounced President Donald Trump's travel ban as a danger to the U.S. and a victory for ISIS.

"The point is the ban makes us less safe," Cardon told CNN's "New Day" of the controversial executive order. "It will be used as a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations. We've been told that by leaders in the Middle East. We know also it puts Americans at risk when they travel."

Cardin, the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that the ban is "ill-conceived" and that he hopes "we'll never see it again" after courts have suspended the order amid legal battles.

When asked how he knows that terrorists are using the travel ban to recruit new members, Cardin said that King Abdullah from Jordan confirmed it for him during a conversation between the two men.

"[King Abdullah] said ISIS is losing its caliphate, losing its territory and they need to recruit to be relevant, and we give them material for recruitment when we impose what is said to be a 'Muslim ban'," he added. "That's how it's perceived internationally. That's used by ISIS to say, 'It's relevant to join us in this fight against the West.'"

Trump is expected to introduce a new version of the executive order, which temporarily prevents people from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen from entering the U.S. and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee program.

Cardin is an advocate for preserving the refugee program, for which he said "extreme vetting is already done" and does not need to undergo further changes before Americans are safe, according to Catholic Review.

Refugees are vetted by the United Nations before passing through a 18- to 24-month screening process to enter the U.S., he said.

"The American people really don’t understand the refugee program," Cardin explained at a Feb. 6 press conference. "They have to understand who these people are."

Sources: CNN, Catholic Review / Photo Credit: Senator Ben Cardin/Instagram

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