House Speaker Paul Ryan says he supports a controversial executive order signed by President Donald Trump last week, which blocks travel to the U.S. from several predominantly Muslim countries and halts the nation’s Syrian refugee program.
Speaking to reporters in Washington Tuesday morning, the Janesville Republican noted that he supports the refugee resettlement program, but believes the nation can balance its generosity and national security interests at the same time. “We need to pause, and we need to make sure that the vetting standards are up to snuff so we can guarantee the safety and security of our country,” Ryan said.
Ryan admitted that the implementation of the order last Friday, which has sparked nationwide protests and resulted in several legal resident aliens being denied access to the country, caused some “regrettable” confusion. “No one wanted to see people with green cards or special immigrant visas, like translators, get caught up in all of this,” he said.
However, the Speaker said he’s confident the Department of Homeland Security will make sure the security procedures get a good review during the halt. “There is nothing wrong with taking a pause and making sure we have the proper vetting standards in place.”