Providence Journal: R.I.’s leaders react to court travel ban decision

Providence Journal: R.I.’s leaders react to court travel ban decision

By The Providence Journal

Rhode Island responses to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling to uphold the Trump administration ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries:

Gov. Gina Raimondo:

“Rhode Island was founded on the idea that freedom of worship is an inherent human right. I’m disappointed that the Supreme Court sided in favor of President Trump’s immoral and unnecessary Muslim ban. Our state has always been strengthened by the contribution of immigrants. It’s now more important than ever that we show the world that there’s a place for everyone in Rhode Island. No matter your race, where you’re from, your immigration status or who you love — you are welcome here.”

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.:

“This ruling is a serious blow to religious freedom. The Trump Administration wants to use national security as a shield for bigotry. But the Muslim ban was never about national security, and to pretend otherwise is a disservice to our brave, principled military, intelligence, and national security professionals who work hard every day to keep our nation safe. Systematically discriminating against Muslims doesn’t make America safer. Period. The Trump Administration should focus on security measures that actually help protect our nation, rather than those that simply pander to his political base.

“Today, the Trump Administration is targeting Muslims, tomorrow it could be another President targeting another religion. It is up to all of us to stand up against religious discrimination, or we all risk forfeiting our own religious liberty and the rights of future generations. And it’s incumbent upon Congress to serve as a check on the Executive Branch when it tries to discriminate against people based on their religion.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.:

“I am sorry to see yet another 5-4 partisan decision by the Republican appointees on the Court, this time accepting President Trump’s political narrative about a travel ban designed to be a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.’ This breaks with the factual findings of multiple decisions by multiple courts, and reflects poorly on the Supreme Court as an institution.”

U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I.:

“This is a bad decision that undermines our security and our values. The President made clear throughout the campaign that he wanted to limit the number of Muslims allowed to enter the United States. He put that rhetoric into action a few days into his presidency. It’s sad that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court ignored these basic facts in their decision.”

“President Trump’s racist, indefensible policies are making America less safe at home and less respected around the world. We are better than this. One day, we’ll look back on this ruling and wonder how we lost our way. Until then, I’ll continue fighting to stop the damage that President Trump’s policies are inflicting on the United States.”

U.S. Rep. James Langevin, D-R.I.:

“I am deeply disappointed in today’s Supreme Court ruling to keep President Trump’s travel ban in place. As I made clear during questioning of then DHS Secretary Kelly, there is no specific intelligence backing this ban, and it can only be viewed as an expression of the President’s ill will toward Muslims. Discrimination of this sort is unjustifiable and directly contradicts the American ideals of freedom and opportunity. I trust that the lower courts will, upon further review, continue to brand this xenophobic policy as immoral and unlawful.”

Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of R.I.:

“Today is a shameful day in our history, but justice will ultimately prevail. In the meantime, the ACLU of RI will continue to fight for the rights of all in the face of the Trump Administration’s discriminatory and xenophobic actions. As the ACLU’s lawsuit on behalf of RI resident Lilian Calderon demonstrates, these actions affect real people in very concrete and devastating ways. We encourage all Rhode Islanders to speak out and join with us in continuing to fight these attacks on our basic rights and freedoms.