January 30, 2017

Van Hollen, Murphy Introduce Legislation to Block Harmful Executive Order on Refugees and Immigrants

Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, joined U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and six of their colleagues to introduce legislation to block President Trump's immigration ban on refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim-majority nations. Specifically, the bill would withhold any funding to enforce the executive order and declares it illegal based on the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which banned discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin.

"President Trump's order to suspend America's refugee programs and ban immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries is an attack on everything our country stands for and has jeopardized our nation's security by playing into ISIS's propaganda. We have immediately seen the consequences of this harmful executive order. A 5-year-old American citizen from Maryland was detained for hours without access to his mother or a legal representative this weekend - just one of countless stories we've heard about at airports across the country," said Senator Van Hollen.

"We cannot allow this to stand," Van Hollen added. "That is why we are introducing legislation to block funding for any implementation of this shameful order. We must remain vigilant and resolute against efforts to sow fear and division, and we must fight together to protect the rights and freedoms of all people."

In addition to Van Hollen and Murphy, other original cosponsors of the bill include U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

The legislation compliments two measures set to be introduced by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which Senator Van Hollen will co-sponsor. He also supports a bill from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to state America's policy to remain a global leader in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers.