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Statement on President Trump's executive order on the travel rights of individuals from certain Muslim-majority

I am outraged, and I condemn in the strongest terms, the executive order issued by President Trump aimed at the world's most vulnerable people: refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing the most horrific wartime conditions.  The order has also swept up individuals who have previously been carefully vetted by our national security system including students and faculty, green care holders, tech workers, dual nationals and others.  This is an action aimed at excluding individuals based on religion and country of origin and does nothing to enhance our security.  On the countrary, it will fan the flames of religious bigotry and extremism.  The actions taken by Customs and Border Protection to detain, exclude and in some cases return individuals to immediate danger are in violation of U.S. and international law and I am doing, and will continue to do, all in my power to have the order rescinded and those who have been harmed offered protection.

As is now clear from news reports, the order was drafted without appropriate input from the relevant agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.  The language of the executive order is vague and imprecise and the Trump administration now appears to be attempting to redefine the meaning of the order resulting in still more confusion.  As Judge Ann Donnelly, who issued an emergency stay in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU stated, "I think the government hasn't had a full chance to think about this."  The language of the order suggests that the order may be broadened in coming days beyond the seven countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and that the number of individuals potentially affected could increase significantly.

Trump's order has been met by mass protests across the country.  Protesters have empasized that the order is not only illegal but stands in contradiction to our nation's values and precepts.  We are a nation of immigrants, a nation built by immigrants, a nation drawing its character and strength from our diversity.  I am proud to live among, and represent, a people who stand up for our values and I stand with and applaud those who have peacefully, but emphatically, joined together to resist this order as an attack on our democracy.

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