Grimes speaks out against Trump order banning citizens from seven countries from entering United States

02/02/2017 10:44 AM

BOWLING GREEN — As the nation and the world comes to terms with President Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States for three months, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes sought to reassure the country there are some in Kentucky looking at refugees with open arms.

“This is something as Kentucky’s Secretary of State, I want to send a message to folks not only here in the commonwealth, but across the nation – we want Kentucky to stay global,” she said.

“Especially, I want to get across the message that y’all, means Kentucky welcomes all.”

Speaking to Pure Politics in Bowling Green before a discussion with community and university leaders, community members, and students at Western Kentucky University about improving Kentucky’s civic literacy and engagement, Grimes spoke out about the temporary ban imposed by President Trump.

“I think the way this is implemented is in the wrong manner,” she said. “It is having a horrible impact as we have seen on folks across the nation, but especially one right here in Kentucky. An interpreter that helped our Ft. Campbell soldiers, the 101st Airborne, detained as he was trying to come into the country.”

Grimes said there is an obligation to protect the United States, but said some fail to remember we’re a nation of immigrants, “it’s our obligation to look out for refugees — the least, the last, the lost among us.”

Trump’s order targets people from seven countries identified as terrorist hot spots by the administration — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

By blocking citizens from those counties, Grimes said Trump is “failing to use that power of the presidency for good,” adding she hopes Trump and Congress revisit the issue.

As protests have spread across the country, with a handful of major corporations speaking out against Trump’s actions, Grimes advocated for individuals to take non-violent action when necessary.

Grimes said she is unsure exactly what will motivate Trump to change his agenda, she said history has shown “non-violent civil disobedience has changed this nation for the better.”

“I want to encourage all citizens to continue to use the power of their voice, that’s how you keep elected officials accountable, that’s how you make the process improved, that’s how we continue to make, hopefully, the commonwealth the best and the brightest and this nation, the United States we can be proud of.”

Grimes has taken part in over 70 naturalization ceremonies, which she describes as “one of the best parts of my job.” In the ceremonies, the Kentucky Democratic statewide office holder urges new citizens to take part in their civic duty by voting.

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