January 29, 2017

NM AG, Senators denounce Trump ‘Muslim ban’ order

Donald Trump speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via cc

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined 15 other attorneys general from around the country to condemn the executive order by President Donald Trump banning travel from certain Muslim-majority countries that caused confusion and outrage this weekend.

Balderas was part of the joint statement, which included the top legal officers in New York, California, Pennsylvania and more.

Other elected officials condemned the executive order.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall called the order “un-American” in a Facebook post Saturday.

“Turning our backs on desperate refugees and essentially imposing a ban on Muslim immigration projects weakness, not strength,” Udall said in a statement Sunday. “This order not only betrays who we are as nation, but it will make us less safe — fueling anti-American sentiment and potentially inspiring violence.”

His fellow U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich said he was “sick to my stomach.”

“President Trump’s actions seek to turn us into the kind of authoritarian nation that we have always stood against,” Heinrich wrote. “This is not greatness, in fact this is un-American.”

Some U.S. senators are working on legislation to reverse the executive order.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the executive order “provides ISIS and other terrorists the propaganda they desire to fuel future attacks against the U.S. and our allies.”

Her colleague, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, said that Trump ignored “the lessons of history.”

“Last century, as Jews were being systematically murdered in Europe, the U.S. had a chance to admit those fleeing the Holocaust, and did virtually nothing,” Lujan said. “History will not judge the Trump administration favorably for slamming the door in the face of refugees of this century who are desperately trying to keep themselves and their families alive.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, the lone Republican in New Mexico’s congressional delegation, said the executive order was “poorly executed” according to the Albuquerque Journal.

“The recent executive order on refugees rolled out by President Trump was poorly executed, and struck confusion throughout the Department of Homeland Security and citizens at home and abroad,” Pearce said.

The joint statement from the attorneys general called Trump’s order “unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful” and said they were confident the entire order would be struck down by courts.

The ban applied to more than 218 million people from seven Muslim-majority countries, which Trump said was necessary to protect the country from terrorism.

Some who were inbound to the United States were detained at airports when they landed, prompting large protests at major international airports, including in New York and Washington D.C.

In Albuquerque, some are planning a protest near the Albuquerque International Sunport. While it is called the International Sunport, there are currently no international flights directly into or from Albuquerque.

“Yesterday, multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the Administration’s dangerous Executive Order,” the statement from the attorneys general said. “We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values.”

Update: Added quotes from U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Steve Pearce.