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Democrats want to defund President Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’

Legislation may have a better chance with House now controlled by Democrats

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., leads the House version of legislation to block funding for the travel ban. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., leads the House version of legislation to block funding for the travel ban. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats in the House and Senate have again introduced legislation seeking to block funding for President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting travel from certain countries, which has been widely criticized as a “Muslim ban.”

“The Muslim Ban — now in its third iteration, but wrong in any form — is just one of the weapons Donald Trump is using to foment xenophobia and bigotry and drive wedges in our communities. It is simply un-American. We do not create policies based on religion and we do not target people because of who they worship,” said Rep. Judy Chu, who is leading the House measure.

“That is bigotry at its worst, and it is part of the reason we have seen an increase in hate crimes and violence since Trump started his campaign,” Chu said. “And that is why Sen. Murphy and I are reintroducing our bill to block any federal funds from going towards the implementation of the Muslim Ban.”

Both Chu, a Democrat from California, and Connecticut Democratic Sen. Christopher S. Murphy have long lists of Democratic co-sponsors for their bills, which take the form of a simple blockade on funding for Trump’s executive orders that would not expire at the end of any fiscal year.

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And the bill would seem to have a better chance, at least in the House, with the Democratic majority in the 116th Congress.

“Two years ago, after President Trump announced his hateful Muslim ban, I heard from families across Connecticut who feared they would never see their loved ones again. But the proposed ban wasn’t just a threat the families affected by it — it threatened the very idea of America. We are made stronger — and safer — by embracing our diversity,” Murphy said in a statement.

In June 2018, the Supreme Court held that the most recent version of the Trump administration’s travel ban, which does not apply only to Muslim-majority countries, is constitutional.

Central to the case were Trump’s statements and tweets about the travel ban, both as a presidential candidate and after winning the White House, and whether those statements meant the travel ban was actually a pretext for a discriminatory “Muslim ban.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., held in the 5-4 opinion, that the president’s statements could not be a basis for striking down the actual executive order.

“Because there is persuasive evidence that the entry suspension has a legitimate grounding in national security concerns, quite apart from any religious hostility, we must accept that independent justification,” Roberts wrote.

Todd Ruger contributed to this report.

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