Trump has defended his executive order after widespread protests
The President has been forced to come the the defence of the policy after a weekend of worldwide protests over the travel ban, with thousands coming out to demonstrate against the controversial new order.
In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, the President said: “America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border.
“America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave.
“We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say.”
He went on to compare the policy to Barack Obama’s approach to immigration after the former President brought in new measures for Iraqi refugees in 2011.
Being President Trump: Key Moments
Fri, January 27, 2017
Inside Donald Trump's first week in the White House.
1 of 12
Trump speaks briefly to reporters as he arrives aboard Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews
America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border
Trump said: “My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.
“The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.
Obama, pictured in Baghdad in 2009, had a difficult relationship with Iraq during his presidency
“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
He argued that more than 40 Muslim-majority countries across the world “are not affected by this order”, and promised to start issuing visas again after new policies have been implemented over the next 90 days.
Trump has spent his first few days in charge signing numerous contentious executive orders
Trump echoed the sentiment of his discussion with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Saturday, writing: “I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria.”
He concluded: “My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”