Mark Rubio has said his Christian faith has caused him to be "uneasy" over President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning Syrian refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries and warned that in Heaven, all will be asked to give an account of how they treated the poor and needy.
According to Politico, in a joint statement released on Sunday, Rubio, R-Fla., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., said: "We are uneasy about the potential impact of these measures on our military and our diplomatic personnel abroad, as well as those who put their lives on the line to work with us."
They added, "We are both committed to doing what we must to keep America safe. We are equally committed to the defense of religious liberty and our tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution."
Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, and Scott went on to say they are approaching the issue from a biblical perspective: "Like so many Americans, we are both guided by our belief that when we stand before our Creator to face judgment, He will say that ‘to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' That is why we intend to do all we can to both keep America safe, and keep America special."
However, they admitted that media reports about the "scope and implications of these measures is misleading" and "have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days."
While they support vetting procedures in countries with known terrorist activities, Rubio and Scott said they still had "some unanswered questions and concerns" and asked for clarification on "the changes to the Visa Waiver program, which is critical to the economies of our respective states."
The countries affected by the ban include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia and fulfill Trump's campaign promise "extreme vetting". The controversial ban has sparked protests in airport across America and drawn criticism from a number of international leaders, including UK Prime Minster Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who tweeted that refugees were welcome in Canada.
However, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, himself the son of a Cuban immigrant, praised the order and told reporters he was "glad" the policy was clarified by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to ensure that legal permanent residents weren't included in the temporary ban, according to Dallas News.
He also blamed the public outcry on "hysteria and mistruths being pushed by the liberal media" and praised Trump "for acting swiftly to try to prevent terrorists from infiltrating our refugee programs."
The ban is a pause in refugee admissions "so that stronger vetting procedures can be put in place," he said in a statement Monday. "This is a commonsense step that the American people overwhelmingly support."