Former President Barack Obama released a statement through his office on Monday offering his support to the millions of protesters around the U.S. voicing their opposition to Donald Trump and his anti-American policies. The former president encouraged protesters to speak out stating that “American values are at stake.”
Kevin Lewis, spokesman for Obama during his post-presidency, said that the former president is “heartened” by the protests.
President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy–not just during an election but every day,” Kevin Lewis, Obama’s spokesman, said.
“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”
Following Trump’s inauguration, Obama has observed the long tradition of maintaining public silence concerning the new president’s policies out of respect for the office. However, it seems that Trump has managed to use up every inch of slack the former president has granted him by issuing an astoundingly unconstitutional executive order which directly targets people of a particular religion. On Friday, Trump issued an order temporarily banning refugees from seven Muslin-majority nations and halted all Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Trump and his followers are trying to justify the order stating that it is in line with actions taken by former President Obama. In 2011, Obama issued an executive order which restricted entries from Iraq after two Iraqis were arrested in Kentucky on terrorism-related charges. Lewis directly addressed the comparisons:
With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” Lewis added.
According to the fact checkers at USA Today, Trump’s comparison is faulty at all levels.
Trump’s comparison of his immigration actions to Obama’s policy in 2011 is a faulty one. The fact is that the Obama administration was responding to a known and specific threat from one country and limited its response to refugees from that country, while Trump’s order temporarily bans refugees from all countries — indefinitely in the case of those from Syria — and temporarily bars all other visitors from seven predominately Muslim countries.”
The article also explained how the number of refugees from Iraq was temporarily reduced, but not halted during the period Trump made reference to in his desperate defense of bigotry.
The new screening process for Iraqi refugees in 2011 reduced the number of Iraqi refugees admitted that year.
In calendar year 2011, the U.S. admitted only 6,339 Iraqi refugees — down from 18,251 in 2010, according to the State Department’s refugee admissions database. The number of Iraqi refugees jumped to 16,369 in 2012 after the screening systems were changed.”
Once again Obama manages to uplift American spirits while casually upstaging his classless follow-up act as only he can. Let’s hope the former president makes this a habit for the next four years.
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