Illinois Democrats express ‘disbelief’ at Trump immigration order
Chicago-area Democratic politicians sharply criticized the Trump administration Saturday after more than a dozen travelers were taken into custody at O’Hare International Airport to enforce the president’s executive order on immigration related to seven majority-Muslim countries.
Late Saturday, a federal judge in New York barred deportations nationwide, and lawyers aiding the O’Hare travelers said all of them had been set free.
In a statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel sharply challenged President Donald Trump’s order.
“Today’s actions have tarnished America’s standing as a beacon of hope for the free world, and there has been scant credible and confirmed information available throughout the day about the impact of the president’s executive order or those detained,” the Emanuel statement said.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, of Evanston, reached by phone Saturday night, said she was nearly in a state of “disbelief,” seeing what was happening at airports across the country.
“I have never in my life imagined that in the United States of America that we would see this,” she said, speaking of “perfectly legal’’ residents of the country being questioned and held at airports.
Trump’s executive order, signed late Friday afternoon, suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, bars Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocks entry for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The Department of Homeland Security said the order also bars green card holders from those countries from re-entering the United States. White House officials said Saturday that green card holders from the seven affected countries would need a case-by-case waiver to return to the U.S.
“I think it’s un-American. I just can’t stand it,” Schakowsky said. “It’s painful to me. You know he (President Trump) signed the executive order on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and one of the things we’re supposed to remember is that the United States actually turned back people that went to their deaths.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago also sent a statement denouncing Trump’s executive order.
“President Trump’s executive order creating a Muslim ban undermines the foundational ideals of the United States, a nation founded by immigrants. I call on the administration to immediately rescind this shameful order, which will have very real and dangerous consequences,” Quigley said.
U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, of the west and northwest suburbs, arrived at O’Hare on Saturday evening to speak with immigration officials but was told that he would have to return during normal office hours to speak with anyone.
“We’re trying to see what we can do,” Krishnamoorthi said. “It’s absolutely appalling that someone would be detained when they’re already a U.S. resident.”