Media

Even Fox News Is Having Trouble Endorsing Trump's Immigration Ban

Julie Roginsky acknowledges that she's a refugee, while Tucker Carlson questions the president's tactics.

Photo Credit: Fox News/YouTube

President Trump's executive order ending the Syrian refugee program and barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States has been met with bipartisan backlash from Capitol Hill and mainstream media, even Fox News.

"We're a nation of immigrants. We're a nation of safe haven," argued J. Kevin Appleby, a senior director of at the Center for Migration Studies.

"A lot of these Syrians are fleeing terror themselves," he told host Tucker Carlson on Friday, addressing Trump's indefinite suspension of the refugee program. "They're very vulnerable. Mostly women and children are coming here. They're not threats and they go through more security checks than any arrival to this country."

"It's usually a two- to three-year process for one Syrian to get into this country," Appleby continued. "They're very well vetted. They're not a security risk. I don't understand why the president is banning them from coming in because we need to provide support to this situation." 

Carlson wanted to know why Americans should assume this "risk," but admitted, "I don't think anybody doubts that these are decent people fleeing the worst possible circumstances."

"I would argue that it makes us more secure rather than less secure, because what ISIS and other extremist groups want is exactly what the president gave them [Friday]—a war between the west and Islam," the director added. "It's a recruiting tool for them. The president's now a poster child for ISIS to recruit ISIS all over the world to radicalize them." 

After speaking with Mark Hetfield, CEO and president of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), who also argued that America should take responsibility for refugees, Carlson criticized Trump, at least for his messaging. 

"You have to explain things to people," noted Carlson of Trump's recent feud with prominent Democrats like Chuck Schumer. 

"Twitter is not the way to do that. A speech is the way to do that. Articulate spokesmen [have] the way to do that. If you make the case slowly and calmly, I think you win over a large majority of the country. You really need to calm people," he said of Trump. "That's part of the job."

On Tuesday, Fox News host Julie Roginsky devoted a segment of her own to a Trump supporter who had challenged her motivations for protesting the executive order on Twitter. 

"The Syrian ban is permanent. Ready to protest with me?" Roginsky asked.

"Are you a Muslim lover?" one supporter of the ban asked in response, to which Roginsky replied:

"Yes, I am a Muslim lover," she later announced on her program, referencing the tweet. "My best friend happens to be Muslim, she's like a sister to me... what kind of hater are you to single out an entire religion?"

Another critic wanted to know how many refugees were staying with Roginsky. 

"I'm a refugee! I came here in 1980 as a religious refugee from an oppressive regime!" she explained. "The same way these people are coming here for the same reasons."

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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