Ever since Donald Trump signed his controversial executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven countries on Friday, protesters, politicians and even senior diplomats have taken a stand against it. These and countless others have voiced their opposition to the order and its immediate, chaotic effects, though one figure whose past pronouncements would also counteract the White House waited to chime in — former President Barack Obama. For despite the current administration’s false claim that their order isn’t all that different from their predecessor’s temporary review of Iraqi immigration applications in 2011, Obama wouldn’t have signed the order his successor did on Friday. Right?
Right, for as the former president’s spokesperson Kevin Lewis said in a statement on Monday, “American values are at stake.” Hence why Obama is “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.” Yet as McClatchyDC notes, the statement doesn’t go into the details of Trump’s order — which specifically banned travel into the United States from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and suspended America’s refugee resettlement program for 120 days pending further review, or “extreme vetting.”
Details notwithstanding, that didn’t stop Obama from lending his support to the ongoing protests while correcting the White House’s false assertion regarding his own 2011 immigration review:
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
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
You can read the full statement by Lewis on Obama’s behalf below.