President Donald Trump defended his controversial travel ban in Arizona on Wednesday, arguing that the law’s restrictions have helped local businesses and tourism.
“The reason that we’re so popular is because people come to Arizona,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“They’re here to stay.
That’s what they want to do.
They want to work here.”
Trump’s comments were the latest salvo in a months-long battle between the White, his family and business interests over his controversial order, which has faced legal challenges and criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union and others.
Trump signed an executive order in January that temporarily barred refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States.
That order was challenged by the ACLU and other civil liberties groups.
“It is an executive overreach by a president who is not qualified to be commander in chief,” ACLU deputy legal director Cecillia Wang said.
“If he’s qualified, he should never have issued it.”
Trump defended the executive order, saying it would prevent a “terrorist attack on the United State.”
Trump said Wednesday that he is still reviewing the court’s decision, which upheld the law in December.
He also said that he has made the order a priority and will continue to do so.
The administration on Wednesday released its initial guidance to the public, which will help state and local governments implement the ban.
Trump has said he would issue a final version of the order later this week.
The order is a major headache for the White Houses family-owned business empire, which employs more than 1,000 people in Arizona, and which relies heavily on tourism.
Trump’s administration also has faced criticism for trying to block an appeal from a U.S. District Court judge in Seattle, who ruled in April that the ban should remain in place.
Trump on Wednesday called the ruling “disappointing” and “ridiculous.”
The order has sparked a backlash among businesses and legal experts who say it unfairly targets immigrants.
Trump, a billionaire real estate developer and reality TV star, has said the executive action was designed to help American workers and that the nation’s immigration laws are “broken.”
Trump and his allies have pointed to data that shows Americans are leaving the country in droves, and have also pointed to the data to suggest that the executive ban is hurting tourism.