Seneca resident Phyllis Smith didn't hesitate Monday when she was asked what she thinks about President Trump's executive order temporarily barring travel from residents of seven predominantly Muslim nations and barring all refugees from entering the U.S.
"I totally agree," said Smith, who was eating lunch at Mama Penn's Restaurant on North Main Street in Anderson. "The United States comes first."
The restaurant's owner, Jimmy Davis, said he and most of his customers feel the same way.
"You have to protect the American people," said Davis, who has hosted past campaign events for former South Carolina Gov. Nikiki Haley and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Haley was confirmed last week as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Trump has nominated Perry to be secretary of energy.
Davis said he regrets that some innocent people are being inconvenienced by Trump's executive order as they seek to return to the United States. But he noted that innocent people often are victims of terrorist attacks.
He likened Trump's decision to a parent "who has to make choices that are best for their children in the years to come."
Two Anderson County residents who attended Trump's inauguration criticized people who took part in protests of Trump's immigration order at airports across the nation.
"I am tired of the cry-baby liberals who are crying 'wolf' all of the time," said Joey Brown, a real estate agent from Anderson.
Brown cited a poll that came out Monday showing support from Trump's order. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey found that 56 percent of likely voters favor a temporary block on visas prohibiting residents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States until the government improves its ability to screen for likely terrorists.
In a post on his Facebook page, Starr resident Matthew Hilley wrote: "It would be awesome if the bleeding heart left cared as much about homeless Veterans and homeless American citizens as much as they do refugees and visitors from Muslim countries!"
Hilley said many of Trump's critics are overlooking the temporary nature of his executive order.
Dan Harvell, chairman of the Anderson County Republican Party, also praised Trump.
"All he is doing is fulfilling the campaign promises that he made," Harvell said.
Trump made two campaign stops in Anderson County and was the top vote-getter in the county in the Republican presidential primary. He also received 66 percent percent of the votes cast in the county in the November general election.
Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, a Republican from Anderson who supported legislation last year aimed to discouraging foreign refugees from settling in South Carolina, said Trump's order "is going to make us safer."
While some Republicans in Congress have expressed qualms over Trump's order, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan said on his Facebook page that "to me the facts clearly back up the president's actions."
Duncan, a Republican from Laurens whose district includes Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties and part of Greenville County, also lashed out at Democrats and the news media in the Facebook post Sunday.
"I have seen more distortion, hyperbole, and outright lies about President Trump’s national security executive order from Democrats and the media over the past few days than I have seen on about any other issue since I came to Congress," he wrote.