DFW Lawmakers Respond to Trump Executive Order; Protests
North Texas lawmakers are weighing in on President Donald Trump's travel ban barring citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entry into the U.S. and the protests that followed.
"This is a bad policy," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told NBC 5 Monday morning. "But even if you're going to have the policy, you let people know before they get on the flight, as opposed to sending them to the United States and then going through this hell."
Officials say nine people were released after they were detained overnight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
"The CEO of the airport quickly called me and told me the situation," Rawlings said. "It was a long 36 hours. Everyone was treated the best they could be."
Rawlings, who sits alongside Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price on the DFW Board of Directors, said airport leaders will be given a "full accounting of the situation."
Mayor Price issued the following statement:
"In an effort to address the nation's concerns regarding border security, the most recent rollout of the executive order regarding illegal immigration has caused deep alarm for many whose families are affected by the visa/refugee process. I stand with those who desire to see that our nation can protect the safety of its citizens while remaining as a refuge for those who are persecuted by and seeking a better life through legal immigration."
"Additionally, I will work with our congressional delegation and have been in touch with the DFW airport staff on our response to those affected immediately and also any long-term implications for our city. My heart hurts for the families who are impacted by this sudden change. As a community, Fort Worth is committed to being compassionate in our approach to those fleeing troubled parts of the world and will continue to tangibly partner with refugee resettlement agencies across the city that meet those needs."
In a phone interview Monday morning, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins suggested President Trump's orders ran contrary to American beliefs.
"The executive order doesn't stand for American Values," Jenkins said. "We don't turn our back on refugees. The President's order is the law of the land, and the confusion at the airport will subside."
Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins Talks Trump Executive OrderDallas Judge Clay Jenkins Talks Trump Executive Order
"If there are more people who enter this country legally or are detained because of this order, we'll take care of them," Jenkins said.
Rep. Pete Sessions represents the 32nd Congressional District in Texas. He issued the following statement:
"This morning I spoke with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings about passengers detained at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport as a result of the President’s executive order. We have confidence that officials from the Department of Homeland Security are working to comply with the executive order and any subsequent judicial action on this matter."
"I believe our first and foremost priority is to protect the American people and safeguard our homeland. Just as President Obama suspended the refugee program in 2011 for six months, the Trump Administration is working to protect national security by making adjustments in the refugee vetting process. It is critical that we address the threat of individuals who come to our country to create chaos and threaten our freedom."
Rep. Kay Granger, who represents the 12th Congressional District in Texas, supported President Trump in her statement:
“I am convinced that President Trump made the decision because he believes it will make us safer,” Granger said in a prepared statement. “I cut funding that would increase the number of refugees coming from Syria when I was briefed that we could not adequately vet that population before granting them refugee status to the United States. The job of the president is to defend and protect our nation. We must also protect our well-earned position as a caring and humanitarian nation. I pray that we do both.”
Rep. Roger Williams, who represents 25th Congressional District in Texas also supported the President's actions.
"The national security of the United States and its citizens is paramount to anything else. I firmly support a temporary travel ban on individuals from countries of concern- a designation given by the Obama Administration's Department of Homeland Security. During this time we must ensure our vetting process is completely foolproof."
NBC 5 News has asked the entire North Texas congressional delegation for comment. We will add their comments as we receive them.