GOP lawmakers support border security but call for compassion | KUOW News and Information

GOP lawmakers support border security but call for compassion

Jan 29, 2017

It’s been an emotional weekend for Washington residents hoping to reunite with family as officials tried to enforce President Trump’s travel ban on immigrants and refugees arriving from certain predominantly Muslim countries.

Democrats have condemned the travel ban. Reaction from the state’s Republican congressional delegation has been somewhat mixed.

Republican lawmakers who responded say they support the intent behind the executive order. At the same time they expressed the need to show compassion.

In an email statement, Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA 3rd District) noted that security at the borders should be taken seriously and can be improved. "Surely there must be a way to enhance security without necessarily detaining innocent individuals," Beutler said.

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA 5th District) echoed those sentiments: "It’s also important that we remain a compassionate country that does not close its doors to those facing persecution and violence."

Representative Dave Reichert backed the administration’s security precautions: “We must be absolutely certain we have systems in place capable of thoroughly vetting anyone applying for refugee status on American soil."

Editor's note: Since publication, Rep. Reichert sent an updated statement: 

Careful vetting to ensure the safety of the American people is the responsibility of the federal government and one I take very seriously. Unfortunately what we've seen this weekend is mass confusion and miscommunication between government agencies and the improper apprehension of people legally allowed to be in the US. I urge the administration to work with Congress on solutions that protect our borders while maintaining our nation's dedication to compassion and religious freedom.