Colorado senators criticize Trump executive order on travel ban

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WASHINGTON — Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner criticized President Donald Trump’s executive order barring the entry of citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees.

The order signed on Friday temporarily banned travel to the U.S. for people from various countries — including some already in transit — as well as delaying of accepting refugees for at least 120 days and banning Syrian refugees indefinitely.

“To halt completely or to shape our refugee program by religious or ethnic preferences betrays the values that have made our country strong,” Bennet, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Republican first-term Sen. Gardner said the travel ban “goes too far.”

“While I am supportive of strengthening our screening processes and securing our borders, a blanket travel ban goes too far,” he said in a statement. “I also believe that lawful residents of the United States should be permitted to enter the country. I urge the administration to take the appropriate steps to fix this overly broad executive order.”

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, said Sunday he will not support a blanket travel ban based solely on ethnic or religious grounds.

Rep. Mike Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, said in a statement on Monday that green card holder should not be affected by the ban, but otherwise said it was “prudent.”

Rep. Scott Scott Tipton said in a statement on Monday that “Individuals who have already been vetted and granted visas or permanent resident status should not be impacted by the executive order, and putting them under the umbrella of this order’s reach – no matter where they come from – will further damage an already-flawed immigration system.”

A number of Republicans added their voices to the criticism of the content of Trump’s executive order and the way it was rolled out.

Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse, a frequent Trump critic, said Trump was right to reject the notion that terrorism had no connection to Islam or certain countries, but argued the travel ban was too broad.

“If we send a signal to the Middle East that the US sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion,” Sasse said.

Significantly, Sen. Bob Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also weighed in, saying the program had been poorly implemented, especially with regard to green card holders.

“The administration should immediately make appropriate revisions,” Corker said.

The travel bans were also criticized by Republican senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

But Trump defended the action in an early-morning tweet Monday.

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