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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio: 'Additional vetting' needed but Trump's action concerning



WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio, who months ago criticized Donald Trump’s proposed immigration action targeting Muslims, issued a nuanced statement Sunday night that supported “additional vetting” but warned about stepping on religious liberty.

Rubio’s comments, delivered on Facebook in a joint statement with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, came two days after Trump’s executive order was released Friday afternoon.

“After reviewing the recent Executive Orders, it is clear to us that some of what is being said and reported about the scope and implications of these measures is misleading,” the senators wrote. “However, it is also clear that the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days.

“We generally support additional vetting for many of those entering our country from nations where the United States has identified there are serious concerns regarding terrorist activities and planning. But given the broad scope and nature of these policy changes, we have some unanswered questions and concerns.”

“We are seeking clarity on the changes to the Visa Waiver program, which is critical to the economies of our respective states.

“And we are uneasy about the potential impact of these measures on our military and our diplomatic personnel abroad, as well as those who put their lives on the line to work with us.

“We are both committed to doing what we must to keep America safe. We are equally committed to the defense of religious liberty and our tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution. Like so many Americans, we are both guided by our belief that when we stand before our Creator to face judgment, He will say that “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."

“That is why we intend to do all we can to both keep America safe, and keep America special.”

Rubio in June said the so-called Muslim ban was “not going to happen.”

[Last modified: Monday, January 30, 2017 12:40pm]


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