During the weekend, President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries.
The order stranded some travelers, including some Tennessee residents. It sparked protests locally, in Washington, and around the country.
Williamson’s state legislators Monday evening said they see no problem with it, despite the protests and criticism from the left.
The immigration order bars the entrance to the country and suspension of refugee immigration for the next four months from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.
Lined up inside the Tennessee State Capitol on Monday night, hundreds stood outside the House chambers. While there for Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address, protesters chanted about numerous issues affecting Tennessee and the nation.
Some held signs protesting the ban on refugees, while others opposed the campaign promise of a wall constructed between Mexico and the United States.
— Emily R. West (@emwest22) January 31, 2017
Here is what each individual lawmaker said concerning Trump’s immigration executive order.
Rep. Charles Sargent (R-Franklin)
“I haven’t heard anything from constituents about it. I wish people would tell the true numbers. Only 108 or 109 people were detained or questioned out of the 350,000 people that flew that day. Anyone with a green card was let through, and other people were questioned.
“I think we need to get our facts straight. People are making a bigger deal about this. We have open borders. The president didn’t pick these seven countries out, another president did. He didn’t do it. They don’t want to report that.”
Rep. Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station)
“I’ve not really had any calls from constituents, and I think there is a misunderstanding of what he’s done. He’s simply said for the moment, short term put a vetting process in place. The FBI admits it. Homeland Security admits it. The vetting system we have now is poor, and we are letting terrorists into our country as we speak.
“The president – protecting the citizens – is simply saying we are going to stop letting people in from these countries that we think are terrorist countries. We need to vet these people and let those in that we want as American citizens and keep the terrorists out. It’s a good move on his part.”
Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin)
“I’ve heard largely overwhelming support from my district for what President Trump did. It’s a federal issue. I am supportive of what the president did.
“The president put a temporary stop from immigration from seven countries that are dominated by terrorist regimes. People who want to come here lawfully and legally to work can. What he’s doing is what he said he was going to do in his campaign, and that’s to institute a more thorough vetting process. That’s reasonable. I think the overreacting from the far left is misguided.”
Rep. Sam Whitson (R-Franklin) was unavailable for comment.