Syrian refugees walk along a highway in Denmark. REUTERS/Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix Denmark

California Democrats in Congress and numerous human rights organizations slammed President Trump’s executive orders Friday banning refugees from Syria and other countries.

“Make no mistake — this is a Muslim ban,” said Sen. Kamala Harris. “Broad brush discrimination against refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, most of whom are women and children, runs counter to our national security interests, and will likely be used as a terrorist recruitment tool.”

Trump’s order indefinitely blocks refugees from war-torn Syria and suspends admissions from other countries for 120 days while the administration determines which countries pose the least risk. In addition, there is a 90-day-ban on entry of foreign nationals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya, even if they hold Green Cards or visas.

Rep. Susan Davis, whose 53rd district includes refugee communities in El Cajon, said the actions are “policy based on fear not strength” and will reduce America’s global influence.

“America has always been a beacon of hope and freedom around the world. This executive order slams the door on those seeking refuge from violence and oppression and runs contrary to the values that have defined America for generations,” she said.

Davis noted that the United States already has a stringent and thorough screening processes for vetting refugees, taking years to complete.

Veterans groups expressed concern that the executive orders will hurt foreign interpreters and other wartime allies who helped American troops in war.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations quickly announced that it will file a lawsuit challenging the orders.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.