Conservative leaders are ready to embrace President Donald Trump’s plan to temporarily ban all travel to the United States from six Muslim-majority countries, saying the policy would be the best way to stop terrorists from entering the country.
The move, which the White House is expected to announce on Wednesday, is the latest step in the president’s efforts to quell a wave of deadly attacks on U.S. soil by individuals who have ties to radical groups.
Trump has called for a ban on refugees from Syria and Iraq, as well as a temporary halt to all Muslim immigration to the U.K., France, Germany and Sweden, which are also majority-Muslim countries.
“There’s no doubt that this is a dangerous policy, and it’s not working,” said Matt Schlapp, a former chairman of the conservative American Conservative Union.
“It’s the best we can do right now.”
While the move is a welcome step, some conservative leaders say the White’s announcement could backfire on Trump’s efforts.
“I think it could be counterproductive and we could have a backlash,” Schlapp said.
“The reality is, it could turn out that we don’t have a strategy.”
In an interview with CNN, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said the ban would be temporary, but not permanent.
“We don’t want to see any of these people enter our country, and we want them to go back,” Miller said.
Miller said Trump had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct a study on the effect of the ban on the economy.
The federal agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Schlapp argued the temporary ban would hurt the economy by making it harder for people to get to jobs, but he added that Trump was not making it about people, but rather about terrorism.
“He wants to see him (President Barack Obama) deported, and if that’s what he wants, it’s fine with me,” Schlatt said.
But many in the conservative movement are opposed to a temporary ban on Muslims, including conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who recently called for it.
“When a country is targeted for terrorist attacks, the first thing we do is say, ‘Get the hell out of our country,'” Coulter said on CNN.
“But if you want to get into the United Kingdom, the second thing we have to do is get the hellers out of the country.”
In a statement, the conservative National Review said the president had “opened the door to a series of potentially dangerous policies that will lead to a radicalization that will only fuel terrorism.”
The magazine said Trump’s order “could also cause significant economic damage and threaten the lives of millions of Americans” by making the country “less safe.”
Schlapp noted that the White has not provided any evidence that terrorists have taken advantage of the temporary travel ban, nor has it offered any evidence to support the idea that terrorism is the cause of the uptick in terrorist attacks.
In his speech, Trump said he was “firmly committed” to building a wall along the U,S.-Mexico border to keep people from entering his country illegally.
“As President, I will build the wall.
I will secure it.
I know that with great vigor,” he said.
Trump said on Twitter that he would be issuing the travel ban in two weeks.
But he also noted that he could change the policy if he were to find out that people are using the visa waiver program to visit family members in other countries.
He said he would then seek to work with Congress to “make sure that the rules are fair.”
The administration has also made it clear that it will not immediately halt all visas for visitors from the six countries, despite a proposal by House Speaker Paul Ryan that could have the effect, if not the intent, of doing so.
In an emailed statement, Ryan said that his proposal was not intended to bar the use of the visa program to temporarily suspend the entry of refugees.
“Our intention is to make it easier for U.N. member countries to cooperate with the U-S.
government on this matter, but there are limits to that cooperation,” Ryan said.
The Trump administration has argued that the visa ban is necessary because terrorists are planning to use the visa system to enter the U., and that a temporary suspension of the program would only encourage them to do so.
The policy has sparked fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle, with Democrats accusing Trump of using it as a political football to distract from his own failures in dealing with the nation’s economic problems.
The GOP has also faced a backlash from the business community, who say the travel restriction is a cheap political stunt and would be counterproductive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.