October 17, 2017

Van Hollen, Democratic Senators Introduce Bill to Block Trump Travel Ban 3.0

Wednesday, just hours after President Trump's harmful travel restrictions on foreigners from eight countries were set to go into effect,Senator Chris Van Hollen(D-Md.) joined 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 the1965 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.

"President Trump's latest travel ban is just an attempt to repackage his Muslim ban. It still weakens the security of our country by playing into the hands of our enemies," said Senator Van Hollen. "We already have the world's most thorough andstringent vetting procedures, and this order does nothing to enhance them. Instead, it is yet another cheap ploy to engage in fear-mongering. We do face real threats, and we must continue our efforts to fight terrorism. Unfortunately, this order harms that mission. I will keep working to protect our country while maintaining America's standing as an international beacon of hope and place of refuge."

In addition to Senator Van Hollen, the legislation was introduced by: U.S. SenatorsChris Murphy (D-Conn.),Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.),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.