Judge Napolitano defends Trump: ‘This was a terrible tragedy’

SANTA ANA, Calif.

— Judge Andrew Napolitani, a staunch Republican, has defended President Donald Trump’s order barring immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, saying it was an important counterterrorism measure.

Trump’s order, issued Friday, barred all immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering for 90 days.

It also suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and barred all refugees from Syria for 90 months.

Napolitian said that’s all it was, and he called the order “necessary” in light of the terror threat facing the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and others.

“What we’ve seen in the last week is the emergence of an ISIS-like group,” Napolitans first reaction to the order was, according to a tweet from the judge.

“What is clear is that it is necessary to confront a real threat.”

On Twitter, Napolitan said he “believes in the rule of law and in the values of America,” adding, “we have a right to defend ourselves, but we also have a responsibility to be secure.”

He added, “We will continue to work with the new administration to protect the United State.”

Trump issued his order Friday morning after a review of security information provided by the State Department and other government agencies.

Trump, who took office Jan. 20, said it was to “ensure that the country is secure from terrorism and other threats to our nation and its citizens.”

“We will never give up,” Trump said in a statement.

“Our first and greatest obligation is to protect and defend the American people.”

The president’s order has prompted protests in several countries, including France, Italy, Britain and Spain, where police are cracking down on demonstrations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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