Rep. Paul Tonko speaks to Capital District residents following the inauguration and women's march // Photo: Kassie Parisi
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Paul Tonko joined with colleagues today to introduce legislation in the House of Representatives to defund and rescind President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program. The bill, called the Statue of Liberty Values Act, is led by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and is signed by more than 160 Democrats in the House.
Rep. Paul Tonko: “For more than thirty years, our nation has opened its arms to those fleeing terrorism and persecution through our refugee program. This program is not only safe, it makes us safer by showing the world that we stand by our principles and protect those who cherish them. In the process, we have welcomed world-class doctors, engineers, innovators, businesspeople, and so many other contributing members of our communities. These people have enriched our society and strengthened our economy. My colleagues and I steadfastly refuse to step aside to let this President throw peaceful, worthy and freedom loving people to the wolves and hand ISIS another recruiting tool in the process.”
The Statue of Liberty Values Act was introduced following an unprecedented Presidential Executive Order banning refugees and individuals from seven majority Muslim countries, yielding confusion and widespread public backlash. Over the weekend, Americans witnessed chaos at airports across the country as vetted travelers, including Lawful Permanent Residents, children, and elderly persons were denied entry to the United States. Many communities turned out to demonstrate against the Executive Order including here in Albany, NY.