Democrat Lawmakers Lambast Top US Court’s Travel Ban Decision

The five conservative justices of the Supreme Court voted to uphold Trump’s travel ban, which indefinitely bars most people from five majority-Muslim countries, and certain citizens from two other countries, from entering the United States
Protesters hold up signs and call out against the Supreme Court ruling upholding Trump’s travel ban outside  the Supreme Court in Washington on June 26.Protesters hold up signs and call out against the Supreme Court ruling upholding Trump’s travel ban outside  the Supreme Court in Washington on June 26.

Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday tore into the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold US President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries.    

Among them was Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to the US Congress, who decried the move as undermining the core value of religious tolerance in a statement shortly after the ruling came down. She said, “I am deeply disappointed that this ruling gives legitimacy to discrimination and Islamophobia.”

In the 5-4 decision, the court’s five more conservative justices voted to reject a constitutional challenge to the third version of the ban, which Trump issued in September. During his 2016 presidential bid, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the United States. That proposal subsequently evolved into a vague promise of “extreme vetting”, Yahoo News reported.

Earlier versions of the ban restricted immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The latest iteration revised the list to include North Korea and Venezuela.

 Marker of Shame

“America holds a unique place in the world as a nation of immigrants,” Ellison continued. “Unlike some other countries, we welcome refugees, asylum seekers and dreamers fleeing war and instability in other parts of the world. America is and must remain the ‘land of the free’ where the family escaping authoritarianism in persecution in North Korea can seek shelter and thrive.”

Ellison compared the court’s ruling to the 1944 Korematsu decision that backed the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws.

“Today’s ruling is unjust,” Ellison said. “Like the Korematsu decision that upheld Japanese internment camps or Plessy v. Ferguson that established ‘separate but equal,’ this decision will someday serve as a marker of shame. Until then, we must keep fighting for an America that recognizes that every human life has value and reflects our values of generosity and inclusion for all.”

Rep. Hank Johnson added to that list the court’s 2013 decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act (Shelby County v. Holder), as well as the 1857 Dred Scott decision that no black person—free or slave—could claim US citizenship.

“Shelby, Korematsu, Dred Scott, and now, Trump v. Hawaii,” Johnson tweeted. “Today’s decision joins a line of rulings history will look back on in shame.”

Trump, of course, expressed no such shame, calling Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling a “tremendous victory” and “a moment of profound vindication” for his immigration policies.

  Great Injustice

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer decried the ruling. “The president’s travel ban doesn’t make us safer, and the Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t make it right,” Schumer tweeted. “This is a backward and un-American policy that fails to improve our national security.”

Schumer’s counterpart in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, agreed. “The Supreme Court’s dangerous decision in Hawaii v. Trump undermines our values, our security, & our Constitution,” Pelosi tweeted. “No matter how many times Donald Trump rewrites his #MuslimBan, it remains one of the great injustices of our time.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders was equally appalled. “The Supreme Court today sided with fear, racism and xenophobia and against the American ideals of religious freedom and tolerance,” Sanders said.

“The Trump administration’s travel ban was never about keeping America safe. We need only look at Trump’s own words to understand that this has always been a racist and anti-Islamic attempt to ban Muslims from entering this country.”

  American Muslims Protest

American Muslims have denounced the US Supreme Court ruling that upheld the controversial travel ban on five Muslim-majority countries, expressing anger and fear over what it will mean for them and their families.

Dozens of people gathered outside the court building on Tuesday, holding banners and shouting slogans such as “No ban, no wall” to protest against the decision on a policy Trump has fought for since his first week in office in January 2017.

“I’m very disappointed; I did not expect this,” Arwa al-Iryani, an American of Yemeni origin living in Connecticut, told Al Jazeera.

She said her in-laws would no longer be able to visit her and their granddaughter. “They used to come twice a year, during summer and Christmas,” she said. “Now the whole family is split”.

HIGHLIGHT: Democratic lawmaker Keith Ellison denounced the ruling as unjust saying the decision will someday serve as a marker of shame


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