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Senate Democrats Quickly Assail Muslim Ban 2.0

Senate Democrats have been quick to react to the Trump Administration’s second kick at the can on banning Muslims from the U.S. after Trump signed his latest executive order this morning. It is essentially the same racist, xenophobic decree Trump issued in January — to disastrous results and legal rebukes — and he’s introduced it again with the main modification being that it now only discriminates against people from six countries instead of seven.

Here are some responses from Democrats in the U.S. Senate over the last couple of hours:

Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

“Today’s order is just a second version of Trump’s previous Muslim-ban – equally immoral and un-American. The intent is the same and sends the same discriminatory message that Muslim immigrants are not welcome. Despite what Trump claims, this ban will not make our country safer – the Department of Homeland Security, intelligence agency and national security officials, and officials abroad have stated that it will in fact, do the opposite. The ban will threaten and undermine our relationships with allies abroad, and serve as a valuable recruiting tool for ISIS. This is not who we are and it needs to be repealed.”

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

“Just like the old ban, the new ban makes our country less safe. Giving ISIS propaganda while ‘solving’ a problem that the Department of Homeland Security itself says doesn’t exist is, to put it diplomatically, unwise.”

Cory Booker (D-NJ)

“A rebranded Muslim ban is still a Muslim ban. Plain and simple.”

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

“President Trump is recklessly pursuing a campaign promise at the expense of fundamental American values and our safety. The Trump administration’s decision to delay this revised ban in order to maximize positive press coverage sends a clear message that this directive is about politics, not national security.

“Arbitrarily imposing travel restrictions on certain Muslim-majority countries only makes us less safe by reinforcing terrorist propaganda and recruitment. It’s shameful that this administration would needlessly separate families and single out refugees who are fleeing violence and seeking a better life. Immigrants make up the fabric of this country, and they continue to enrich our communities and strengthen our economy. America is better than this.”

Ed Markey (D-MA)

“If at first you don’t succeed on a travel ban, fail, fail, again. President Trump’s two travel ban executive orders are a bad movie with a bad sequel. The executive order remains blatantly discriminatory and still encourages the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to engage in religious-based questioning. We cannot allow the Trump administration to write bigotry into U.S. immigration policy.

“This new travel ban will not make our nation safer and only serves as a recruitment tool for ISIS and other terrorists. The courts blocked Donald Trump’s first Muslim ban because it trampled on Constitutional rights, and I anticipate this new attempt to repackage it will meet the same fate.”Markey

Grassley Calls Trump’s Executive Order “Commendable”

Over the weekend Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) made the following comment regarding Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries:

“National security is the number one responsibility of the federal government, and keeping terrorists out of the United States must be a top priority. The goals of the Executive Order are commendable, and something President Trump promised during the campaign, but implementation will be key to ensuring the bad guys are kept out while remaining a welcoming nation to people of all backgrounds and religions.”

I’m not sure but I think this is supposed to be the Republican version of criticizing Trump.

So, according to Grassley, the “goals of the executive order are commendable,” meaning that he finds it laudable that Trump wants to discriminate against people based on their religion, go against our national creed and make the U.S. a pariah in the world. But his primary concern is making sure that we have our act together administratively and the program accomplishing all that good stuff is implemented correctly.

It’s nice that he throws in the part at the end about “… remaining a welcoming nation to people of all backgrounds and religions.” That’s a nice butt-covering touch. But I’m quite sure that’s not where his real focus is.

Mattis Out of Loop on Immigration Executive Order

I think newly-minted Defense Secretary James Mattis is starting to see already that he may have made a mistake signing on with Team Trump as the only truly qualified cabinet member. It looks like bringing Mattis into the loop on the rollout of his disastrous Muslim ban was an afterthought for Trump — and I would bet former-General Mattis is not accustomed to being an afterthought.

According to this article, Mattis only saw the executive order when it was a done deal and a couple of hours before it was released. It also appears that Mattis’s input on the order was not sought. Which is not surprising given that, during the presidential campaign, Mattis was sharply critical of Trump’s yapping about a ban on Muslim immigration.

Anyone taking wagers on how long before Mattis eventually resigns?

McCain, Graham Reject Trump Muslim Ban

Donald Trump has been in office a little more than a week and there are already signs that the Republican wall is cracking. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) issued a joint statement today slamming Trump for his anti-Muslim executive order on immigration.

This came after an appearance on ‘Face The Nation’ in which McCain said that Trump’s actions will serve primarily as a recruiting tool for terrorists. While conceding that the U.S. must always act in a way that protects our citizens, the Republican Senators emphasized that we must do so while staying consistent with “… all that is decent and exceptional about our nation.”

“We should not turn our backs on those refugees who have been shown through extensive vetting to pose no demonstrable threat to our nation, and who have suffered unspeakable horrors, most of them women and children,” McCain and Graham said in the statement. “Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism. At this very moment, American troops are fighting side-by-side with our Iraqi partners to defeat ISIL. But this executive order bans Iraqi pilots from coming to military bases in Arizona to fight our common enemies.”

“Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred. This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”

The Senate begins floor debate Monday on Rex Tillerson’s Secretary of State nomination. McCain and Graham’s commitment to these words will be tested when they take to the floor to speak — and in how they vote later in the week.

Trump Invokes “Founding Principles” in Banning Muslims

If you haven’t seen the text of Trump’s un-American executive order banning Muslims from certain countries from entering the United States, have a look at this excerpt:

“In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.”

It’s incredibly sick and ignorant to invoke our county’s “founding principles” in the course of doing something that so completely debases those values.

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