Indian American lawmakers slam President Trump’s new travel ban

This ban does not keep us safe, said Senator Kamala Harris.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D- Calif.) Courtesy of C-SPAN

Indian American lawmakers on Monday criticized President Donald Trump’s revised executive order that temporary halts people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

“Make no mistake: this ban does not keep us safe. It puts American lives at risk while isolating the Muslim community at a time when we need to address the threat of homegrown extremism. No matter the changes, this executive action remains immoral and fundamentally un-American,” said California Senator Kamala Harris.

“While I welcome the decision to omit Iraq from the list of banned countries, the President still has an obligation to provide evidence of a national security threat posed by immigrants and refugees from the remaining six countries,” Harris, the first Indian American in the US Senate, said.

Harris accused White House for failing to provide actual justification based on the facts even though they had more than one month to develop their case.

“Omitting one country from the list does not eliminate the need to provide the American people with meaningful evidence supporting this ban,” she added.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA 7th district) called Trump “irresponsible” and said he has been forced to recognize that the original travel ban was both “unconstitutional” and “ineptly” executed.

“The new order recognizes that we must honor the visas of those who already have been given clearance to come to the United States, as well as excludes legal permanent residents and dual citizens affected by the ban,” said Jayapal, PTI reported.

She said, “It also excludes Iraq from the list of the banned countries, another clear sign that such a ban would hurt our coalition efforts for peace in the Middle East. It should not have taken the courts and nationwide protests to stop such an order from taking effect in the first place.”

She continued: “It continues to single out Muslim majority countries only, drastically limits and suspends refugee resettlement, and deeply affects our relationships with countries around the world. It continues to do nothing to make our country safer, alienates our allies and gives extremists propaganda for recruitment.”

She added that the president was “irresponsible” in “throwing” the county into chaos and putting fear in the hearts of millions of families.

Congressman Ami Bera, who is also the vice-ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that a specific religion does not enhance the national security.

“This is a bad second swing at an executive order that is just as un-American and xenophobic as the first version that was struck down by multiple courts. As Americans, we do not close our doors to those who are fleeing persecution, or target people based on their faith,” Bera said.

Rep. Ro Khanna said, “This is the same ban, driven by the same hazardous discrimination that weakens our ability to fight terror. Revised language won’t change what this executive order is: an act that prohibits people from entering the US based on their religion or refugee status.”

“The public and courts rejected the Trump administration’s first attempt at this, and it must do so again,” Khanna added.

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