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Sen. Thom Tillis Shows Concern For Trump's Ban; Major League Soccer Moving Forward

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) is joining Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in a letter that raises concerns with President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning refugees and citizens of several Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S.

The letter is addressed to members of the armed services committee and to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. It condemns the detention of two Iraqis at the JFK airport over the weekend, who reportedly supported the U.S. Armed Forces and, after years of vetting, received special immigrant visas.

In the letter, the senators called the situation "unacceptable" and say the country will "pay significant moral and strategic costs if it continues."

"As such," the senators wrote, "we respectfully request that you encourage the president to immediately ensure that properly vetted Iraqis who supported the U.S. mission in their country can continue to enter the U.S."

Another North Carolina Republican - Rep. Virginia Foxx of Winston-Salem - has also voiced concerns with Trump's immigration order. Foxx released a statement on Monday that read in part, "The Executive Order signed by the president on Friday came with little clarity and caused much uncertainty for foreign travelers. Additional implementing guidance is needed to ensure that the order can be applied in a fair and equitable manner."

Rep. Mark Walker of Greensboro, also a Republican, similarly showed consternation for Trump's order. In a statement, Walker said the language should not have applied to legal permanent residents of the U.S., "and if it is being enforced in any other way, the administration should step in swiftly to clarify."

North Carolina Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate who support Trump's executive order include Rep. Ted Budd, Rep. George Holding, Rep. Robert Pittenger, and Rep. David Rouzer.

Charlotte's Major League Soccer Bid Moves Forward

Speedway Motorsports owner Marcus Smith says he will file a bid Tuesday to bring Major League Soccer to Charlotte. That's after city council nearly sunk the idea by canceling a vote on whether to build a multi-million dollar soccer stadium last week, saying there was not enough time to properly vet the proposal.

Mike Burch, a spokesman for Speedway Motor sports, told reporters his group planned to submit a bid anyway and work out a stadium deal with the city later.

"We've always looked at this as a public/private partnership," Burch said, "So we are going to move forward as proposed and ask them to look at that and answer the questions they have. This is the deal as it stands right now."

Under that proposed deal, the city and the county would each pay $44 million each toward building a new stadium on the current site of Memorial Stadium. The Smith family would pay an additional $88 million.

Charlotte is one of 13 cities now vying for two expansion franchises to be awarded later this year.

Congressman Robert Pittenger Signs On To "Sanctity Of Human Life Act"

North Carolina Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger is co-sponsoring the "Sanctity of Human Life Act" (H.R. 586), which states that human life begins at fertilization.

The bill was introduced to the U.S. House on January 17 by Georgia congressman Jody B. Hice. A press release from Pittenger's office says the legislation includes no new restrictions and by itself does not change any existing law.

"The issue at hand is the way our culture so casually treats abortion," the Charlotte Republican said in the statement, "Our goal with this bill is to formally recognize life when it begins and that abortion constitutes ending a human life."

Nick de la Canal is the host of Weekend Edition on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and a reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal