Iowa's top elected officials are reacting to President Trump's executive order that restricts travel into the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries and puts refugee programs on hold.
Governor Terry Branstad supports the ban.
At his weekly news conference, he said he is not going to second guess how the policy is being implemented.
"This should not have been a surprise to anybody,” Branstad said. “The president campaigned on taking action to prevent people from coming from countries that don't have stable governments where there's significant radical Islamic extremist activity.”
The order sparked protests at airports around the country, including in Iowa, and mobilized immigration lawyers to fight it.
Branstad minimized the effect of the restrictions on Iowa’s international students.
“If you are from one of those seven countries and you're here, I don't think you need to worry about it, but I think you need to be concerned about traveling back to those countries,” Branstad said. “First of all, they’re dangerous places anyway that are in the midst of conflict and where there's not stability."
In a letter to Iowa State University faculty, staff, and students, President Steven Leath said they are advocating for three international students who may be affected by the ban.
"We are coordinating with our international programs staff, immigration experts, legal counsel and peer universities to fully understand the implications of the new federal policies," Leath said.
Branstad said international residents who overstay their visas represent a threat to national security.
“Immigration is a federal issue,” he added.
Iowa’s Republican U.S. Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley expressed concern about how the new policy is being carried out.
“Implementation will be key to ensuring the bad guys are kept out while remaining a welcoming nation to people of all backgrounds and religions,” Grassley said.
Republican Congressman David Young said terrorists plan to “exploit our refugee program to harm Americans."
On Twitter this weekend, Republican Congressman Steve King said it’s time to make English the official language of America.
Iowa’s only Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack called the order shameful.
“It flies in the face of America's values of being a welcoming place to those who are fleeing oppression," Loebsack said.