Gov. Rick Scott weighed in Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order requiring additional vetting of nationals from seven countries with a majority of Muslim residents.
Scott, a major Trump supporter, praised the president for his focus on “the security of Americans.”
“I believe we now have a president that is going to work with the state of Florida to be concerned about the safety of Floridians that live here and all the people that visit here,” the Republican governor told reporters and editors at The Associated Press’s annual pre-session gathering in the Capitol.
When pressed by a reporter about the difference between Trump’s order targeting Muslims and Scott’s criticism of President Obama’s order that ended the “wet foot/dry foot” policy for Cuban immigrants, Scott said that Obama issued the directive without consulting members of Congress — some of the same criticism Republicans and Democrats alike are lobbing at Trump now.
“With regard to what President Obama did with regard to Cuba, we have members of our Congress that are of Cuban dissent, didn’t reach out to them. He didn’t create a safety net for people that are leaving a brutal dictatorship, i.e. Raul Castro,” Scott said.
Trump will “tweak” his immigration ban “to make sure it works,” Scott went on.
“He believes in the security of all Americans but more importantly he does understand we have to be the safety net country for people who are leaving oppression,” he said.
Scott elaborated about the president’s impact on Florida later.
“We happen to be the best melting pot in the world,” Scott said, noting that 150 languages are spoken in the state, which is a magnet for foreign emigres.
“Now, let’s put it into perspective. We love tourists. Our immigration system is a disaster. There’s no sense to it. It didn’t get better under president Obama. My goal is, with President Trump, that we have a system that, one, we keep Americans safe and we continue to welcome people that want to come here and help us build our country.”
Florida is “completely tied to the world economy,” Scott added.
“A third of the people who moved here last year moved from another country. It’s remarkable,” he said. “So we’ve got to do this right. But we know that the system we have today is not working.”