CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday said he believes President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. was “overly broad,” and said the federal government should instead focus on comprehensive immigration reform.
A federal judge has blocked enforcement of Trump’s executive order, which bars citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected Trump’s request to reinstate the travel ban while it weighs the merits of the executive order.
At an unrelated event on Friday, Rauner said he did not support the president’s action, saying the Trump administration moved hastily to impose the travel ban.
“I’m concerned. I believe that the ban, the executive order, was overly broad, was hurried, and I do not support restricting travel or immigration based upon religion. I’ve been very clear about that,” he said.
The Republican governor said the federal government instead needs to move ahead with comprehensive immigration reform.
“I hope that Congress and the federal government can come together and get comprehensive immigration reform. Our immigration system is broken. It’s not working, and to deal with it piecemeal or in small scale isn’t the right way to do it. We should have comprehensive immigration reform,” Rauner said.
However, the governor did say he is concerned about properly vetting refugees from Syria. In 2015, he sought to halt Syrian refugees from being relocated from Illinois until the federal government addresses concerns about the screening process. Trump’s executive order would indefinitely block Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.
The governor said he stands by his request for a temporary halt in accepting Syrian refugees.
“I asked for a pause in refugees coming from Syria, because ISIS made it clear they were working to insert terrorists inside the flow of refugees from Syria, and I asked that our excellent state terrorism task force work closely with the federal administration to understand exactly how they were dealing with the Syrian issue,” he said. “I continue to stand by it. I am very pro-welcoming for refugees. America has always been the world’s hope for those who are suffering, who are being persecuted, who are being trampled on in their own circumstances, and we’ve welcomed them to our shores. I think we should continue to strive to do that, but we also have to make sure we do what we can that’s reasonable to keep people safe, and I will always work to keep the people of Illinois safe.”
Rauner also was asked about proposed legislation in Springfield that would effectively make Illinois a “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants.
Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside) has proposed a measure to create so-called “immigrant safe zones” at schools, houses of worship, and medical facilities. The legislation would prohibit federal immigration agents or local law enforcement agencies working on their behalf from entering such “immigrant safe zones” without a court warrant.
Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero) has proposed a separate bill to prohibit law enforcement agencies across the state from detaining undocumented immigrants based solely on their immigration status.
The governor did not address those measures, but said he is proud of the state’s diverse population, and wants the state to remain welcoming to immigrants.
“I am very pro-immigration. America is a nation of immigrants. My grandparents were immigrants. We are all from somewhere else,” he said. “One of the many reasons I love Illinois is we are a state of immigrants, and we are an inclusive state. We’re a diverse state. We’re a welcoming state, and I would like us to continue to be welcoming and diverse.”