In a statement on Sunday, President Donald Trump defended his executive order temporarily barring nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries by invoking a policy set by former President Barack Obama in 2011.
“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months,”
the statement said
. “The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.”
But lawyers and former Obama administration officials have since criticized the comparison, arguing that the 2011 immigration restrictions, during which Obama administration slowed its processing of Iraqi refugee applications, was fundamentally different in intent and logistics.
rated the comparison “mostly false,” saying Trump’s ban was much broader than the previous administration’s and did not respond to a specific threat.
The Obama administration instituted the policy following the discovery that two men suspected of making bombs to target American troops in Iraq were living in Kentucky as refugees,
ABC News reported in 2013