State Democrats voice support for bill to nullify Trump’s executive order


David Fishman/Daily Senior Staffer

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) poses for a picture alongside 98-year-old labor activist Beatrice Lumpkin at an event in Chicago. Schakowsky denounced Trump’s executive action to restrict immigration from seven countries and pledged to continue to advocate for immigrants.

Ryan Wangman, Assistant City Editor

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, Illinois Democrats have voiced support for a bill that would nullify the order.

If passed, the bill — introduced by U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) — would not allow federal funds to be used to carry out any policy changes set forth in the executive order. The act comes alongside national protests, including one at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, where several international travelers were detained while trying to enter the country.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said in an interview with MSNBC that at one point there were 18 people being detained, including two babies. She said many of the detainees are green card holders or legal residents, and that the executive order was a serious infringement on their constitutional rights.

“This endangers Americans who are traveling overseas right now,” Duckworth said. “I worry about our troops who are in harm’s way, who just became more of a target.”

On Monday, Trump said the order would prevent “bad ‘dudes’” from entering the nation and questioned the outrage from Democrats.

“Where was all the outrage from Democrats and the opposition party (the media) when our jobs were fleeing our country?” Trump tweeted.

At a rally in front of the Supreme Court on Monday night, Duckworth appeared with other Senate Democrats to protest Trump’s travel ban. She emphasized that the orders were dangerous for the country and called them “a betrayal of who we are as Americans.”

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) spent Sunday speaking and marching at events in support of immigrant, Muslim and refugee communities. She said in a news release that she was ready to push back against the president’s “abhorrent” executive order with legislation.

“President Trump’s Executive Order was appalling, unconstitutional, and completely immoral,” Schakowsky wrote in a news release. “As a proud Jew and the daughter of immigrants, the painful irony of our country closing its doors to immigrants and refugees on Holocaust Remembrance Day was very personal.”

Appearing alongside Schakowsky at a “Know Your Rights” workshop in Rogers Park on Sunday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the order was “a gross miscarriage of justice in America.” The event aimed to inform refugees and green card holders about their rights and to help them find legal representation.

In a video posted to his Twitter account after the workshop, Durbin said there has never been an act of terrorism committed by a Syrian refugee. Nevertheless, the new executive order puts an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees entering the U.S.

On Sunday, Schakowsky pledged to continue advocating for all immigrants without regard to Trump’s actions.

“If the President wants to kick out our immigrant brothers and sisters, we’ll link arms and stand in the doorway,” Schakowsky wrote in a Facebook post. “If the President wants to block legal residents and visitors from entering our nation of immigrants, we’ll be at the airports to bring them home.”

Twitter: @ryanwangman