Sen. Kaine labels travel ban ‘a religious test’

WASHINGTON — During a Monday visit to Dulles Intentional Airport, where protesters gathered to speak out against President Donald Trump’s refugee and travel ban, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, said the ban was based on religion and called on Americans to voice “outrage.”

“There are so many things wrong with this order,” Kaine said. “We all have to be active and engaged to rise up and speak about the improper nature of how this was done.”

Thousands have demonstrated at U.S. airports since Trump issued an executive order Friday temporarily blocking people from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — from entering the U.S.

Trump’s order also suspends refugee immigration for four months.

Washington’s state attorney general filed a lawsuit over the order, and a federal judge in New York issued an emergency order temporarily banning deportations of people from the seven nations.

“This is a religious test,” Kaine said, claiming the Trump administration is unfairly singling out Muslim-majority countries.

As for green card holders, Kaine said the order will affect them, but they should be allowed into the country. Under the Trump administration’s policy, green card holders can board planes from overseas and fly to the U.S. but can be subject to questioning before being allowed to enter, Kaine said.

The same procedure will be applied to travelers with special immigrant visas, which can be given to people overseas who assist American troops, Kaine said.

“People overseas on the field of battle who work with our troops should be able to do that and know [that] if they help us, they will be protected; not that they will be abandoned,” he said.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer defended the order Monday.

“The president is going to be very proactive in protecting this country,” said Spicer.

“He’s going to do everything in his power to stop every threat that we face in this country, and every potential threat. We’re not going to wait until we get attacked and figure out how we can make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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