WASHINGTON – After President Donald Trump re-issued his harmful restriction on refugees and immigrants from six Muslim-majority nations in Africa and the Middle East, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led 15 senators on Tuesday in introducing legislation to reverse the executive order and block its implementation. Specifically, the bill – which is similar to legislation Murphy introduced in January to block the first iteration of the Trump administration’s travel ban – 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.
“Our job is to keep the American people safe, but this hateful ban puts lives at risk. ISIS is already using President Trump’s order and the offensive rhetoric that defined his campaign to recruit more terrorists in the Middle East and indoctrinate lone-wolves over the internet,” said Murphy. “A report by Donald Trump’s own administration found there’s no national security justification for it. Congress must pass this bill and block it now.”
Original cosponsors of Murphy’s bill include U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
Murphy argues that immigration based on religion or country of origin violates the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and fuels ISIS recruitment propaganda, putting our nation at risk. A panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit recently 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 recently 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.
In January, Murphy penned an op-ed in the Huffington Post about President Trump’s travel ban entitled, “How Trump Just Made America Less Safe.”