On Monday, Senate Republican leadership blocked Democratic efforts to ban President Trump’s executive ban on immigration.
The effort to block the ban in the Senate was led by the Democratic Majority Leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer of New York. Other Democrats, including Senator Dianne Feinstein of California have called the order unnecessary, unconstitutional and un-American. In addition, California Representative and Democrat, Zoe Lofgren, sought unanimous consent on the House floor to take up a bill she introduced to rescind the executive order and block funds for its implementation—both efforts failed.
Although dozens of Republicans in both chambers have expressed concern and/or opposition to the ban, Republican leadership would not allow votes on the Democratic proposals to block it.
Trump has claimed his executive order is not a Muslim ban because it does not explicitly issue religious preferences even though it only applies to Muslim countries. The Executive Order, signed by the President late last week, suspended immigration for citizens of seven, majority- Muslim countries; It also indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee resettlement program; and authorized an “extreme vetting” process for all immigrants and visitors to the U.S.
On Saturday, a federal judge in New York issued an emergency order that temporarily stopped the U.S. from deporting people from the nations subject to Trump’s ban. Those countries include Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen. Interestingly, although Trump claimed he implemented the ban to keep Americans safe from terrorism, his ban conveniently and inexplicably omitted the countries of origin of the September 11th hijackers–15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia; the others originated in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon.
Trump’s order raised the ire of many Americans who do not support this approach. In addition, it has wreaked havoc at airports not only across the nation but around the world– initially, officials were barring permanent, “green-card carrying” U.S. residents from re-entering the country.