Rauner, Kirk criticize Trump's Muslim immigration proposal
Top Illinois Republicans Tuesday denounced presidential hopeful Donald Trump's recent call to block all Muslims from entering the U.S.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said at Elk Grove High School he "strongly" took issue with Trump, and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park was similarly critical.
"Banning any race or religion, as Donald Trump has suggested, is anathema to American values and should be rejected," Kirk said in a statement. "Instead, the American people need both parties to develop a clear and concise strategy to destroy the Islamic state and prove that our security transcends political rhetoric."
Rauner last month said Illinois should stop allowing Syrian refugees into the state following the terrorist attacks in Paris, but he criticized Trump's idea.
"I strongly disagree with candidate Trump's comments, strongly disagree," Rauner said. "What we are trying to do is communicate with President Obama's administration. What we've asked is that we share information with the federal and state government."
Trump's comments have drawn widespread criticism from officials of both parties, including U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.
And U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, a Plano Republican, released a statement that didn't address Trump by name, but referenced the comments.
"Singling out any faith community for the actions of extremists is not conservative, it is hostile to our founding, it would never pass Congress and it is a distraction from our efforts to truly increase the security of our nation," Hultgren said in a statement.
Rauner said he's trying to get more information from the federal government about refugees.
"We have a duty to work together to try to block terrorists while allowing honest folks, immigrants and tourists to come to the United States," Rauner said. "Right now the information-sharing is inadequate. The officials in Paris have acknowledged that their coordination and communication efforts among the different levels were not adequate."
The issue has split Republicans and Democrats, with local Republican members of Congress wanting a pause and a review of policies guiding the Syrian refugee immigration process. Local Democrats have said the country should continue to accept the refugees, who are vetted by federal officials.