Dem senator to introduce anti-discrimination bill after Supreme Court upholds travel ban
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said on Tuesday that he will introduce anti-discrimination legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s travel ban.
“In the coming weeks, I plan to introduce legislation to make clear that in the United States, we will not tolerate discrimination based on religion or nationality, and I invite everyone who treasures our American values to join me in defending them,” Coons said in a statement, adding that despite the Supreme Court ruling, the travel ban doesn’t reflect “America’s values.”
A spokesman for Coons didn’t respond to a request for comment about whether the bill will target the administration’s travel ban or discrimination more broadly.
“The President’s travel ban is not only discriminatory and counterproductive; it stands in direct contrast to the principles embedded in our Constitution and our founders’ vision of a nation where all people are free to worship as they choose,” Coons said.
The Supreme Court upheld the ban on nationals from five Muslim-majority countries entering the United States in a 5-4 ruling Tuesday.
In a majority opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said the president has broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States.
The move sparked immediate backlash from Democrats, who say the travel ban is discriminatory and contrary to the country’s values.
“Discriminating against individuals based on their religion or country of origin without evidence that the person poses a national security threat doesn’t make us any safer, and it undermines our core values,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who like Coons is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Congress should pass legislation to revoke this ban.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) argued that Congress should pass his legislation to block funding for enforcement of the travel ban.
“The Supreme Court won’t stop that unconscionable policy, but an act of Congress can,” he said. “I have a bill that would immediately stop President Trump’s mean-spirited Muslim ban and once again open our doors to children and parents suffering at the hands of our enemies.”
But any push to overturn or limit Trump’s travel ban through legislation is likely dead on arrival in a Republican-controlled Congress.
Asked about the chances of success for such legislation, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, suggested it isn’t politically feasible.
“Let’s be real,” he said. “The Republicans are in control.”