Reaction to President Donald Trump's executive order pausing the refugee process and suspending visas for citizens of seven Middle Eastern countries has been swift and loud on both sides. Protesters gathered at airports across the country over the weekend while Trump surrogates took to the Sunday shows to defend the order. Liz Walters of the International Institute joined Jasen to express her concerns and talk about the travel ban's impact on Akron, while Ohio Treasurer and 2018 Senate candidate Josh Mandel expressed his support for Trump's action.
One of the biggest debates in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris has been whether to accept refugees from Syria. The governors of 32 states have asked the federal government to not place Syrian refugees in their states, and there is speculation that Republicans in Congress may insert language into a key spending bill to block Syrian refugees from being accepted into the United States.
Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) believes Ohio Gov. John Kasich made the right decision by calling for Syrians to not be placed in Ohio.
"We need to ensure those coming over have no ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations. We need to have a system in place, we need to be screening." Renacci said. "If we can't do that, we shouldn't just be allowing individuals to come in."
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) sees it differently. While he also wants to make sure terrorists don't enter the country, he says there are safeguards in place to ensure the wrong people don't come in.
"If we don't know something... or we don't know who exactly you are, you don't get in the country," Ryan said.
When asked about the "gaps" in the ability to vet Syrian refugees noted last month by FBI director James Comey, Ryan said a refugee whose information falls into one of those gaps would not gain entry into the United States.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill that would, among other changes, require FBI background checks for refugees. The Associated Press reports President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.