Rep. Salud Carbajal co-sponsored a congressional bill aiming to undo President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven countries and temporarily suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
The bill would block the use of federal funding to implement or enforce the executive order, and Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, co-sponsored the Statue of Liberty Values Act, which was introduced by California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, who is on the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration panel.
“It’s a counter-effort to address the really misguided, not-well-thought-out policy that’s only going to harm our national security and the safety of Americans abroad,” Carbajal told Noozhawk Monday night.
“Being new to Congress, I’m trying to understand the timeline, but the bottom line is (the bill) would make the executive order null and void and take the teeth out of its ability to be implemented.”
Trump’s Friday executive order caused confusion, stranded and detained travelers, and protests at international airports over the weekend, according to news reports. Federal judges halted portions of the order until it can be heard in court.
The order suspended entry to the United States for all refugees for 120 days, and for Syrian refugees indefinitely, and imposed a 90-day ban on entry to the United States for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, which are predominantly Muslim countries.
The executive order is called “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” and the text includes the following: “Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since Sept. 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program.
“Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism,” the executive order says.
Carbajal said the order created chaos within federal agencies in addition to confusion for travelers.
“My understanding is that (Trump) didn’t consult with any intelligence or security agencies, or agencies that would be implementing this executive order,” Carbajal said.
Carbajal thinks the bill has a chance of getting bipartisan support despite the Republican majority in Congress. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, both Republicans, have spoken against Trump’s executive order, he said.
“It’s not keeping with American values, to single out countries based on religion,” Carbajal said.
UC Santa Barbara students held a protest on campus Monday afternoon in response to the executive order, and Third District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann was among the speakers, saying that “liberal democracy is under assault in this administration.”
In a video taken by the Daily Nexus student news organization, Hartmann told students that “we must get out in the streets and we must make our voices heard.”
Carbajal arrived in Washington, D.C. around 3 p.m. Eastern time on Monday after a trip to Santa Barbara, and signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill before attending a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court Monday night with congressional Democrats, an event organized by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.
He also officially filed his first bill, which proposes a ban on new oil and gas drilling off the shore of California.