January 31, 2017

Van Hollen Statement on Immigration Executive Order

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen released the following statement:

"President Trump's order to suspend America's refugee programs is an attack on everything our country stands for and makes us less safe. It is a de facto Muslim ban that plays right into ISIS's propaganda, casting our fight against terrorism as a fight against an entire religion. It emboldens those who want to do us harm, and harms those who need protections the most. This is not who we are as a nation, and we will fight to overturn it with everything we've got.

"National security officials who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations have spoken out forcefully against President Trump's order. Security and basic freedoms are not partisan issues - they are essential to our democracy, and we all must speak up to defend them.

"From the moment the order was signed, I have been working on behalf of Marylanders who were blindsided by this despicable action. Despite personally calling Customs and Border Protection to ensure the safe arrival of a five-year-old constituent traveling to the U.S. with a family member, the child was detained for over four hours without access to his mother. This disgraceful kind of incident has been repeated at airports across the country.

"I am heartened by the outpouring of support Marylanders have shown for refugees and immigrants who turned out to protest at airports in Maryland and across the country, as well as at the White House and Capitol. In the Senate, we are examining every possible action to undo this order. I have sent a letter to President Trump with Senators Kamala Harris and Patty Murray demanding that he revoke this order immediately. And I have introduced three pieces of legislation to fight back - a bill with Senator Feinstein and other colleagues to roll back the order, a bill with Senator Chris Murphy and other colleagues to cut off funding to implement the order, and a bill with Senator Patrick Leahy and other colleagues to state America's policy to remain a global leader in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers.

"I urge everyone who is offended by this attack on American ideals to speak up and make your views known. We must remain vigilant and resolute against efforts to sow fear and division, and we must fight together to protect the rights, security, and freedoms of all people."