Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly says President Trump must exercise caution on his temporary ban on visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations.
“President Trump is being responsible setting up new refugee standards as long as they are fully explained and expedited in a timely manner,” he said during Monday’s broadcast of “The O’Reilly Factor.”
“[But] we don’t want to tarnish the message the Statue of Liberty sends,” O’Reilly added. “The administration must be willing to grant exceptions.”
“Above all, [it] should help refugees survive in the terror zones abroad. Protecting Americans is obviously priority No. 1, but the nobility of our nation demands we help suffering, helpless people if we can.”
O’Reilly said that he understands the motivations behind Trump’s controversial executive order last Friday.
“Here in the USA, we’ve had our share of migrant terror,” he said. “All 19 Muslim killers on 9/11 walked on in here. So did the Boston Marathon murderers, Muslims from central Asia. One of the San Bernardino killers was from Pakistan.”
“The Orlando mass murderer came from a Muslim immigrant family, as did the terrorist who attacked a mall in Minnesota,” O’Reilly continued.
“So, it is certainly logical and responsible for a new president to institute updated protections for this country by ordering specific, temporary immigration actions.”
O’Reilly added that Trump is grappling with a refugee crisis left by his successor, former President Barack Obama.
“It is worth stating for the record that the massive flow of mostly Muslim refugees would not be happening had President Obama and the West not retreated from the Middle East and North Africa, allowing [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and the Syrian dictator [Bashar al-] Assad to murder at will,” he said. “However, it is also responsible for a federal judge to order that foreigners with the proper credentials already issued not be punished.”
Trump last Friday signed an executive order imposing a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The measure also froze general refugee admissions into the U.S. for 120 days and paused the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely due to Syria’s ongoing civil war.
Trump’s move has since sparked fierce national debate, with Democrats and human rights organizations arguing it is unconstitutional and biased against Muslims.
The president has rejected such criticisms, however, countering his action is crucial for protecting national security against possible terrorism.