WASHINGTON – Hours after President Trump’s harmful travel restrictions on foreigners from eight countries were set to go into effect, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committees, and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, led 27 senators on Wednesday in introducing legislation to reverse Trump’s executive order and block its implementation. Specifically, the bill – which is similar to the previous legislation Murphy introduced earlier this year to block the first iterations 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. 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.
“Just like the first and second versions of the Muslim ban, this one is still illegal, discriminatory, and harmful to our nation's security,” said Murphy. “This ban plays right into the hands of ISIS and terrorist organizations around the world. ISIS is already using it as recruitment fodder to convince those fleeing persecution that they have no place in our society, and Donald Trump’s own administration admitted that there’s no national security justification for it. I hope my Republican colleagues will stand up for American values and security and support this bill.”
“Make no mistake, President Trump’s third travel ban is yet another discriminatory effort to fulfill his campaign promise to enact a ‘Muslim ban.’ The administration’s attempt to cloak this religiously motivated travel ban isn’t fooling anyone—as evidenced by two rulings against it in federal court,” said Feinstein. “The order is contrary to the principle of religious freedom and does not strengthen our national security—Congress should not fund its implementation.”
In addition to Feinstein, the following senators cosponsored Murphy’s 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.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), 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.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), 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.
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.”