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Washington, March 6, 2017 | comments

Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) issued the following statement voicing his opposition to the new executive order banning refugees worldwide for 120 days, reducing the number of refugees admitted into the United States annually by over 50 percent, and restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries. This follows Crist's opposition to the initial refugee and travel ban signed in January that multiple federal courts blocked as unconstitutional.

"While it’s an improvement that Iraq was taken off the list of countries under the travel ban, this executive order is still deeply troubling, and we can’t take our eye off the ball.

"By cutting the number of refugees able to seek freedom and safety in the U.S. by over 50 percent annually, we are condemning the lives of up to 60,000 people – a population the size of Fort Myers, Florida – who fear persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, or political views. It’s unconscionable, flying in the face of our American values as the beacon of hope and light to the rest of the world.

"The irony is painful for a nation that embraces and embodies the quotation, etched on no less than the Statue of Liberty, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’

"It is now up to Congress, the Judicial Branch, and ultimately the American people speaking out, to stop this harmful order. It will make America less safe, damaging the alliances we need to stop terrorism at home and against our allies and interests abroad."
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