Ald. Ameya Pawar, the first Democrat to declare candidacy in the 2018 governor's race, criticized Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner Monday for failing to take a definitive stand on President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration.
“@GovRauner is a coward—a real failure in leadership,” Pawar tweeted Monday. “#WeWillResist.”
On Sunday evening, Rauner issued a statement on Trump’s executive order, which halts refugee resettlement and imposes a travel ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations.
“The governor has been supportive of tightening the vetting process for Syrian refugees because of ISIS attempts to infiltrate refugee flows — but he’s opposed to immigration bans that target any specific religion,” a spokesperson told NBC 5 via email.
“Serious concerns about the executive order have been raised. We urge swift resolution of these concerns through the courts to ensure we are a nation that is both secure and welcoming of immigrants and refugees,” the statement continued.
Rauner's office did not immediately respond to Ward Room’s request for comment on Pawar's declaration.
In a separate tweet, Pawar claimed Trump’s executive action fulfills Rauner’s 2015 request to “ban Syrian refugees.” Following the Paris terrorist attacks in November of 2015, Rauner and a group of governors pushed to temporarily halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
Last year, Rauner's office reportedly looked into its legal options and wanted a review of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's acceptance and security processes. However, his office would not detail what actions the governor has taken since then, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Earlier this month, Pawar slammed Rauner for including non-budget items in ongoing budget negotiations.
“I think the fact that we’re holding up the state budget for non budget-related items like term limits is immoral,” Pawar told QConline.
Pawar also claimed Rauner’s turnaround agenda encourages a “race to the bottom” by seeking to undercut unions and collective bargaining rights.
According to the Democrat, the state needs to adopt a “progressive vision” moving forward.