Hours after President Donald Trump’s travel restrictions on foreigners from eight countries were set to go into effect, Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons joined 27 senators Oct. 18 in introducing legislation to reverse Trump’s executive order and block its implementation.
Specifically, the bill — which is similar to a bill Carper and Coons cosponsored in March — 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 Oct. 18, but judges in Hawaii and Maryland stopped the ban from being enforced.
“Categorically denying entry into our country to a group of people based on their religion or ethnicity doesn’t do one bit to make us safer. Actually, President Trump’s travel ban jeopardizes our national security by playing right into the hands of ISIS and other anti-American extremist groups. If we are to be successful in countering the propaganda of violent extremists and eradicating terrorism, we must remind the world of the principles and values that the United States holds dear,” Carper said. “This administration has repeatedly failed to present Congress with a compelling national security reason to apply blanket bans to individuals from countries around the globe. We in Congress need to do everything we can to ensure this harmful and uninformed campaign promise never sees the light of day.”
“This executive order from the president, just like the similar ones before it, is based on fear, not facts, and it discriminates against people simply because of their faith. It’s un-American, plain and simple,” Coons said. “This action by the president also makes us less safe by giving extremist groups a perfect recruiting tool and by telling the world that we won’t open our doors to refugees simply seeking safety for themselves and their families.”