On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order that shifted American policies on immigration and refugees, caused confusion at airports and for law enforcement and governmental agencies, and sparked protests throughout the United States.
The order, signed under the title, “Protecting The Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” bans citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries—Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia—from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days. It also denies entry to all refugees for 120 days.
On Saturday night, the American Civil Liberties Union won a temporary injunction that halted the deportation of all individuals stranded at U.S. airports with valid visas. Lawyers for the ACLU filed a lawsuit earlier in the day on behalf of two Iraqi men who were en route to the U.S. on immigrant visas when Trump’s order came down. On Sunday, the Trump administration shifted slightly on the order, saying that the travel ban won’t apply to green card holders. Still, many immigrants from the targeted countries who are either legal U.S. residents or have valid visas are currently stuck abroad while officials here and overseas grapple with how to enforce the new order.
Since the executive order was announced on Friday, many politicians, world leaders, civil rights organizations, and citizens have vocally spoken out against it. Here in Denver, about 1,000 demonstrators gathered at Denver International Airport on Saturday evening to protest the travel ban and welcome immigrants who arrived safely in Colorado. On Sunday, there were still hundreds of protesters on the scene, despite the ACLU victory. Although the demonstrators did not hold a permit, as is required, no arrests were made.
As for our local politicians, it appears that opposition to the travel ban is mostly a bipartisan issue, with all democrats and some republicans speaking out against it, at least in part. Here’s what our elected officials had to say:
While I am supportive of strengthening our screening processes and securing our borders, a blanket travel ban goes too far. I also believe that lawful residents of the United States should be permitted to enter the country. I urge the administration to take the appropriate steps to fix this overly broad executive order.
Sen. Cory Gardner(R)
Our country has always offered hope for the oppressed and homeless, but hope also requires safety and security. We should not let people into this country unless we can thoroughly vet them. America welcomes Muslims from 190 countries and temporarily bans all individuals from seven countries. The President’s executive order is a temporary effort that addresses a serious issue with terrorist hot spots.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-4th District) emailed this statement to Colorado Public Radio
While I’ve supported heightened vetting procedures for those wanting to travel to our country, I have never, nor will I ever support a blanket travel ban for people solely based on ethnic or religious grounds.”
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-6th District)
Refugee EO will harm our natl security, undermine our values, & marks a significant departure from our history of welcoming those in need. pic.twitter.com/wcAtST7GNw
— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) January 28, 2017
— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) January 27, 2017
Statement on Donald Trump's executive order targeting Muslims. pic.twitter.com/GO9FHtx6Om
— Rep. Jared Polis (@RepJaredPolis) January 28, 2017
— Rep. Scott Tipton (@RepTipton) January 30, 2017
— Rep. Doug Lamborn (@RepDLamborn) January 30, 2017
#MuslimBan is extreme & conflicts with America's values. I will continue fighting for inclusiveness. Thank you to everyone protesting!
— Rep. Ed Perlmutter (@RepPerlmutter) January 29, 2017