WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hours after President Trump’s harmful travel restrictions on foreigners from eight countries were set to go into effect, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and 25 other senators on Wednesday in introducing legislation to reverse Trump’s executive order and block its implementation. Specifically, the bill would withhold funding to enforce the executive order. The bill also declares the executive order illegal based on the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which banned discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin. Trump’s executive order was set to kick in at midnight on October 18, 2017, but judges in Hawaii and Maryland successfully stopped the ban from being enforced.
“As expected, President Trump’s latest Muslim ban suffers from the very same constitutional and statutory problems of its earlier versions,” said Senator Menendez. “We will continue to fight back every step of the way until this recalcitrant White House drops their fixation on implementing a ban that fails to uphold fundamental American values, undermines the core values that built this country and does more harm than help the national security of the United States.”
“Again and again, the courts have held that President Trump's efforts to single out Muslims in order to prevent them from entering the United States is unconstitutional religious discrimination.” said Sen. Booker. "Our bill makes it clear that we will not accept any version of this ban and will do everything in our power to block this and any future attempts at this kind of unconstitutional and discriminatory overreach on the part of the President. “
In addition to Menendez, Booker, Murphy and Feinstein, the following senators cosponsored the legislation: U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
A panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit blocked President Trump’s previous immigration order, citing that the ban “runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also released a memo concluding that citizenship in one of the Muslim-majority countries listed on President Trump’s travel ban is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to the U.S.
October 16, 2020