Roskam backs Trump on travel, refugee ban; Duckworth appeals to Mattis
The suburbs' two Republican congressmen are diverging on President Donald Trump temporarily banning refugees from entering the U.S. and restricting travel for people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton said Americans are "safer because of Trump," during an interview Monday on radio station WIND 560-AM.
"President Trump is doing exactly what candidate Trump promised he'd do," Roskam said. "The immigration system is a mess."
However, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano broke from the party on Monday, saying the president's edict was too broad and lacks compassion.
Roskam's thinking is in line with GOP leaders including U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
"This is unfortunately the consequences of the bad policy that (President) Barack Obama allowed," Roskam told radio hosts Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson.
Trump stated it is crucial to protect Americans from foreigners who intend to commit terrorism in the U.S. He stopped refugee arrivals for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely and restricted entry for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
The order caused much confusion about the status of legal permanent residents at airports around the nation, including at O'Hare, where green-card holders were detained and questioned.
"Is it chaotic? Yes," Roskam said. "Is it ideal? No. Is it going to continue to be bumpy? For sure. The process itself needs work, there's no question about it.
"But can you imagine if the inverse were true? Can you imagine if there hadn't been any sort of action? People would say: 'Well, (Trump) campaigned on these things and promised to do things, he failed to do it, and then this terrorist got through.'
"But here's what we know -- the country's safer this morning than it was 72 hours ago," Roskam said.
Suburban Democrats have condemned the executive order and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates, Roskam's Democratic opponent in 2006, wrote Defense Secretary James Mattis Wednesday calling on him to advise Trump to reverse the order.
"There are over 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, many of whom are embedded with front-line Iraqi units and working side-by-side with their Muslim counterparts," wrote Duckworth, a former military pilot who was wounded serving in Iraq. "Each of these brave Americans serving in uniform was put at risk by President Trump's (executive order)."