APA Members of Congress Critical of Executive Orders on Immigration

WASHINGTON — Asian Pacific American members of Congress have issued the following statements in opposition to President Trump’s executive orders barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries for at least 90 days and suspending the U.S. refugee program indefinitely:

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “Donald Trump can deny it all he wants, but we understand him loud and clear. This is a Muslim ban, and it’s deeply wrong. If we don’t speak out against Trump’s Muslim ban now, we will be complicit in what comes next. President Trump must rescind this despicable, immoral executive order immediately.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): “Make no mistake — this is a Muslim ban. Broad-brush discrimination against refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, most of whom are women and children, runs counter to our national security interests, and will likely be used as a terrorist recruitment tool.

“Opening our doors to those fleeing war and oppression has been the policy of presidents of both parties for decades. This moral leadership enhances our ability to shape world events, promotes global stability, and makes us stronger at home. Whether it’s a small-business owner in Sacramento employing fellow Californians or a student in Los Angeles completing cutting-edge research, refugees are contributing to our country and our economy. They enrich our communities; they do not make us less safe.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) — “As a child, I witnessed the refugee crisis borne out of people fleeing the Khmer Rouge and Pathet Lao in Southeast Asia with my own eyes. I’m proud that our nation acted during that crisis to take in refugees, but I remain motivated by the knowledge that we could have done much, much more.

“The Statue of Liberty isn’t engraved with ‘Do not enter’ signs, it is proudly emblazoned with ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.’ This is a quintessential American value and though we’ve not always lived up to our ideals, the president would do well to remember that we cannot afford to turn our backs on them, especially today [Jan. 27] — Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We are a nation that leads with strength — a nation that knows ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’ — not a nation that cowers in fear when faced with difficult choices. The America that I know is not one that slams its doors on families and children fleeing barbarism and terror, but one that shines brightly as a beacon of hope for all human beings.

“Giving in to our fears, as the president has done, is not the action of a strong country. Today’s order will ultimately serve to weaken our own national security, playing into our enemy’s hands and helping convince another generation of young people simply seeking safety that America is at war with them.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “A sweeping denial of refuge to families facing persecution and bloodshed abroad is not an effective way to protect our citizens. My first priority is always the safety of the A