Politics

Sen. Hoeven: Refugee Pause Will ‘Keep America Safe’

North Dakota senator admits past support for amnesty before border security a mistake

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said during an interview Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the executive order President Donald Trump is expected to sign Thursday suspending refugee admissions “is part of keeping America safe” and “is a reasonable approach” for the U.S. to take.

Hoeven, who previously served as the governor of North Dakota, praised Trump for moving toward temporarily suspending refugee admissions into the country, noting the toll that former President Barack Obama’s lax policies took on North Dakotans. Saying Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises to keep Americans safe, Hoeven added that the president’s policies “can get us back on track.”

“But I think the concept of making sure that we can vet before people come into this country is part of keeping America safe, is a reasonable approach.”

“But I think the concept of making sure that we can vet before people come into this country is part of keeping America safe, is a reasonable approach,” Hoeven told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham. “This is part of keeping America safe.”

When Ingraham noted that such organizations as Lutheran Social Services and several Catholic charities give millions of dollars to refugees and immigrants in North Dakota, Hoeven said that the states must be able to maintain control of their own individual refugee policies.

“I think what we have to do with the program is make sure that the states have control,” Hoeven said. “That’s one of the concerns that’s been brought up, Laura, is that the federal government has not worked with the states sufficiently on these programs. And I think that’s something we have to work to do.”

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Should North Dakota continue to welcome refugees, Hoeven said it is of the utmost importance that the state can properly vet them with no federal complications.

“We want to make sure that when people do come here that the communities are able to adequately handle them, you know, that the services and so forth aren’t putting a strain on [North Dakota],” Hoeven said. “And that’s why it’s so important that we get back to local and state control of these programs rather than again this federal ‘one size fits all.'”

Trump is bringing change to Washington, Hoeven said, and the new president is taking steps to address the refugee crisis and the rampant problem of illegal immigration.

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“He’s promised change. And any time you bring change, obviously people are uncertain what that means. But we need to make changes to get this country back on track,” Hoeven said. “And I think the things he’s talking about can get us back on track.”

When Ingraham pointed out that Hoeven once supported the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 promoted by the “Gang of Eight,” Hoeven admitted that the bill’s provisions to first legalize undocumented immigrants and then secure the border were largely a mistake.

“We have to first secure the border and then take a step-by-step approach to address the other aspects of immigration reform,” Hoeven admitted. “But Americans want border security first.”

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