News & Politics

Ilhan Omar Says Trump Has Built an 'Invisible Wall' with Travel Ban, Calls for Repeal

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said the Trump administration’s travel ban will “go down in history as a moral stain” on the United States and it should be “fully” repealed.

“I believed, even as a child, the promise of liberty, equality and justice that was the promise of the United States of America — 20 years later, it seems those fundamental ideals are in peril,” Omar said on Wednesday alongside other Democratic lawmakers who are supporting the NO BAN Act, which would eliminate travel ban. “Our president has made it clear that he seeks to advance an agenda of disdain and exclusion of Somalis and Muslims of other countries.”

Omar said President Trump has “succeeded in his quest to create a religious test” for entering the U.S. from certain Muslim-majority countries.

“The government cut admission for Muslim refugees by 91 percent since 2016. In 2016, the Obama administration accepted nearly 40,000 Muslim refugees from around the world. Now that number is down to only 3,000,” she said. “Trump might not have gotten his border wall, but he has created an invisible wall keeping out people around the world based solely on their region.”

Omar referred to the travel ban as a “hateful policy” that should be put “into the stain of history where it belongs.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said she continues to hear from family members who want to see each other but cannot due to the travel ban.

“It’s so important we all stand here and say this is wrong and I don’t want to wait for an apology from our country. I’m not going to do it this time and we can’t stand here and wait for it. They do it every single time and it’s about time we stop it immediately — years of this, no matter what community is up next, we have to be at the forefront and say apologies don’t count anymore,” Tlaib said at the press conference on the NO BAN Act.

“You have to act and stop this hateful measure towards a whole faith but a faith that really represents, in so many ways, what we don’t want in this country, this other practice needs to stop in this country, and I don’t care what faith or sexual orientation, what immigrant status that you have, what your background is, no matter what it is, it doesn’t belong in this country and I’m so proud to be standing here with my colleagues to say that we won’t wait for that apology — this is the time to stop it,” she added.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said that the bill would likely not pass in the Republican-controlled Senate.

“I am grateful that every Democratic senator who is a candidate for president is a co-sponsor but it lays out a marker about our priorities and our values and I am hopeful that at some point we will secure Republican co-sponsors in the Senate,” he said.