Congressional representatives from the Carolinas are mixed on President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. Trump has temporarily banned citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. – as well as refugees from any country – while his administration reviews how they're vetted. WFAE's Michael Tomsic and Mark Rumsey discussed how the four senators and 20 representatives from North Carolina and South Carolina are responding.
How many fully support this move?
Six that we've heard from so far. In North Carolina, representatives Ted Budd, George Holding, Robert Pittenger and David Rouzer. In South Carolina, representatives Joe Wilson and Jeff Duncan. All are Republicans.
Pittenger represents part of Mecklenburg County, and he says there needs to be more engagement by the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security in the vetting process. And Duncan from Clemson, South Carolina, says there's "distortion, hyperbole and outright lies" about the executive order. He says it's not a Muslim ban, it's only temporary, and the terror attacks in Europe have shown the need for careful review.
How many representatives flat-out oppose the order?
Five so far. In North Carolina, it's the three Democrats: Alma Adams from Charlotte, David Price and G.K. Butterfield. In South Carolina, it's Democratic Representative James Clyburn and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. Graham released a joint statement with Senator John McCain of Arizona saying, "We fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security."
That's a common argument against it – that it feeds into ISIS propaganda. Graham also says the order itself wasn't properly vetted, and we should not stop interpreters who helped our military from seeking refuge here.
So we've covered about half our representatives. Are the other half somewhere in between total support and total opposition?
"Supportive but with concerns" is the way I'd put it. Republican North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis says it's inexplicable that some green card holders – who are legal permanent residents in the U.S. – are being denied entry. He says the order should be "refined." Other Republicans concerned about that part of it are Richard Hudson from Concord and Mark Walker from Greensboro.
South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott is uneasy about how it may impact our troops and diplomats abroad. He also wants clarity on what the order means for the Visa Waiver program. That allows people to travel here for up to three months for tourism or business, and Scott says it's critical to the economy.
There are also six representatives we've reached out to but haven't heard back from, including North Carolina Senator Richard Burr. As we get responses, we'll update this story and the list below.
-Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C.
-Rep. George Holding, R-N.C.
-Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.
-Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C.
-Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.
-Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.
-Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C.
-Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C.
-Rep. David Price, D-N.C.
-Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.
-Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Supportive but with concerns:
-Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.
-Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.
-Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
-Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C.
-Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.
-Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
Haven't responded to our requests or have refused to comment:
-Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
-Rep. Walter Jones Jr., R-N.C.
-Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.
-Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C. (Trump has nominated Mulvaney to lead the Office of Management and Budget.)
-Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C.
-Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.