In a statement released on its official Facebook page, the Georgetown University College Republican board expressed its disapproval of President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration. Yet, several Republicans on campus, including former GUCR board members, have criticized the statement for misrepresenting the President’s actions.
On Saturday evening, the GUCR board wrote that they were “disheartened” by President Trump’s executive order restricting entry into the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“Although we understand the grave threats that our country faces from radical Islamist terrorism, we do not believe that security should trump humanity,” the statement read. “We are disheartened by the effects the President’s actions are having on both Americans and our brothers and sisters around the world.”
The board argued that the president’s actions do not reflect the principles of the Republican Party and will likely harm U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East.
However, several former GUCR board members have criticized the organization’s response to the executive order.
Zachary Hughbanks (COL ’18) expressed concerns about the statement, arguing that it overlooked important facts.
“A very vocal minority has been riled up by mischaracterizations from the mainstream media,” Hughbanks said.
According to Hughbanks, it is inaccurate to call the executive order a “Muslim ban.” He implored critics to examine the order more carefully and to consider public opinion on the question.
Former GUCR board member Michael Parmiter (MSB ’18) also disagreed with the organization’s response.
“[The statement] is well intentioned but very misguided,” Partimer told The Georgetown Review.
Parmiter similarly argued that the executive order should not be called a Muslim ban because most Muslim countries are not included on the list. He also noted that President Obama previously designated these countries as sources of terrorism.
“A majority of Americans agree with the President’s decision,” Parmiter added.
Still, many others supported the organization’s response. Students across campus praised GUCR for objecting to the administration’s policy.
“It is important that Republicans and Republican organizations speak out when they are offended by or disagree with actions taken by any government official, even if it is in opposition to another Republican,” said Reed Howard (SFS ’17). “We must be guided by our principles and our conscious, not blinded by party loyalty.”
In a Facebook post, the Georgetown University College Democrats applauded the Republican response and called for solidarity on the issue.
“We are so proud to be working alongside some great Hoyas at the Georgetown University College Republicans,” the post read.
GUCR’s response preceded other university statements released after President Trump’s announcement of the executive order. In an email to students, Professor Charles King, chair of the Department of Government, wrote that President Trump’s banning immigrants is “inimical to the professed values of this university.”
President DeGioia echoed these sentiments in an official statement sent to students and facility on Sunday evening.
“The implications of this order are significant and concerning,” Degioia said.
The Georgetown Review reached out to GUCR for comment but did not receive a response by press time.
Correction: This article previously stated that GUCR’s response followed other university statements; GUCR’s statement was published on Saturday and preceded official university communications.