Here’s How Illinois Politicians Have Responded to Trump’s Immigration Order

Following protests at airports across the country in opposition to President Trump's executive action halting refugee resettlement and entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations, calls on elected officials to clarify their stance on the order have continued to grow.

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OPPOSED: After Trump signed the order Friday, Senator Durbin issued the following statement: "History will judge where America’s leaders stood today. Faced with the humanitarian crisis of our time, the United States cannot turn its back on children fleeing persecution, genocide, and terror. During the Holocaust we failed to fulfill to our duty to humanity. We cannot allow mindless fear to lead us into another regretful chapter in our history." He then attended a roundtable on immigration with Mayor Emanuel and Rep. Luis Gutierrez Saturday, before calling for an investigation into the Department of Homeland Security’s "chaotic execution" of the order with Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Sunday. At an event Monday, he once again commented on both the ban as well as the protests that erupted nationwide. "It was amazing, for the second week in a row, there was a spontaneous reaction,” Durbin said. “The American people feel very strongly about the values of this nation and when President Trump, in the first 10 or 11 days of his presidency, decides he wants to recast the image of America, you know, he's in for a battle." He then added, "there are a lot of people who don't want to see that happen. We're going to stand up to values that are very important to us."
3/24
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OPPOSED: Duckworth issued the following statement Friday: "As a child, I witnessed the refugee crisis borne out of people fleeing the Khmer Rouge and Pathet Lao in Southeast Asia with my own eyes. I’m proud that our nation acted during that crisis to take in refugees, but I remain motivated by the knowledge that we could have done much, much more. The Statue of Liberty isn’t engraved with do not enter signs, it is proudly emblazoned with ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.’ This is a quintessential American value and though we’ve not always lived up to our ideals, the President would do well to remember that we cannot afford to turn our backs on them, especially today—Holocaust Remembrance Day. We are a nation that leads with strength—a nation that knows ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’—not a nation that cowers in fear when faced with difficult choices. The America that I know is not one that slams its doors on families and children fleeing barbarism and terror, but one that shines brightly as a beacon of hope for all human beings. Giving in to our fears, as the President has done, is not the action of a strong country. Today’s order will ultimately serve to weaken our own national security, playing into our enemy’s hands and helping convince another generation of young people simply seeking safety that America is at war with them." Duckworth also issued a response to the detentions at airports across the country that sparked nationwide protests on Saturday, saying, "I wish the President had realized that governing in a fair and just manner is harder than rallying crowds with catchphrases before human lives were affected, as they were by today's needless and dehumanizing detentions at O'Hare and airports around the country. Stopping legal permanent residents and babies simply because of where they're from is not the American way and it doesn't make us safer. This Muslim ban must end." She called the order a "betrayal of who we are as a nation" on MSNBC Saturday, adding that as a veteran, it is "certainly not the values that I fought to defend." On Sunday, she called for an investigation into the implementation of the order alongside Sen. Durbin, saying that they were "particularly alarmed by allegations that CBP Officers... failed to comply with a temporary restraining order."
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OPPOSED: Rush did not issue a formal statement, but tweeted "President Trump’s executive order demonstrates the infantile evil acts of a street bully" on Monday, adding, "In my experience, the only way to beat a bully is to stand up and fight back; which, morally, I must do."
5/24
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OPPOSED: Kelly issued the following statement after a federal judge blocked deportations of anyone with a valid visa being detained at U.S. airports under the order: "I am inspired by and agree with Judge Donnelly's decision to grant an emergency stay. These individuals were denied entry because of President Trump's radical and reckless Executive Order. President Trump's ban runs counter to our Constitution, shows a lack of judgement and displays extreme indifference for American global leadership. The President's policies are creating disastrous episodes that endanger our security. Instead of working across the aisle to address any gaps in our security, President Trump jumped to an Executive Order that violates the rights of American citizens and people who risked their lives for our country. It's time for Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan to get serious about their Constitutional duties. In a time when families flee the terror of ISIS and seek a better opportunity, how will America remain compassionate and lead? Simply put, the overreach that we're witnessing with this Executive Order is un-American." Kelly also attended the protest at O'Hare Airport on Sunday, posting a photo on Facebook with the caption, "Tonight, Americans from all walks of life and all faiths spoke out with one voice against President Trump and his unconstitutional Executive Order. We will not be divided; we will #resist."
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OPPOSED: Lipinski has not issued a formal statement, but tweeted on Sunday in opposition to the order. "While we need policies to keep us safe, this hurts #Muslims and others whose help we need to fight #terrorism." He tweeted again on Monday to offer help to those impacted, saying "My offices are open to assist all individuals and families with immigration-related issues."
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OPPOSED: Gutiérrez released a scathing response to the order on Friday, saying, "Man up, Mr. President. Have faith in the strength of your own country and the vitality of her citizens and culture. A nation of 300 million people that has blazed a trail for the world for more than 240 years can withstand 50,000 moms, dads and children fleeing for their lives. We always have and we always should. The poem on the Statue of Liberty says 'I lift my lamp beside the golden door!' not 'We are scared of you, come back later when we feel better.' The shutdown or slowdown of refugees is an unmistakable signal to the world that the U.S. is bowing to terrorism by insulating itself. It shows that the new President thinks that people from certain parts of the world are so dangerous that the United States with all of its power and resources cannot protect itself. We are a bigger nation, a better nation, a stronger nation than to let ISIS dictate our immigration and refugee policies. We should stand strong against terrorist threats, not recoil in fear and anxiety. It just isn’t American to run away and hide, to turn away people in need, to fear standing as a beacon of hope to the world. President Trump is still acting like candidate Trump, calling for utterly ridiculous policies regardless of how much they hurt America or our standing in the world, just for the applause of his base supporters. As if a wall could protect the country. As if shutting out families fleeing terror makes us stronger. As if picking and choosing which religions need protection is a valid way for the United States to act. As if starting a trade war with our neighbors and allies will not backfire on American wallets. It is embarrassing and this is only the first week." Widely considered to be a national leader on immigration issues, Gutiérrez also spoke out against the order at a roundtable with Durbin and Emanuel on Saturday.
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OPPOSED: Quigley denounced the order on Friday, calling it "shameful" in a statement: "President Trump's executive order creating a Muslim ban undermines the foundational ideals of the United States, a nation founded by immigrants. I call on the Administration to immediately rescind this shameful order, which will have very real and dangerous consequences. Already, we are hearing reports of green card holders held in legal limbo at airports around the world. Refugees fleeing violence and persecution are being turned away before boarding U.S. bound flights, even after they endured years of thorough screening and vetting. President Trump's decision to issue this executive order on Holocaust Remembrance Day only adds insult to injury. Have we learned nothing from the atrocities of the past? My own city of Chicago has been and will continue to be a vital home to immigrant communities from around the world. Our city is forever enriched by and grateful for the contributions made by immigrants and refugees, living side by side as Americans. As a Member of the House Intelligence committee, I am convinced that sweeping bans on whole categories of immigrants and refugees is deeply harmful to our national security interests, further complicating the fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups. Moreover, banning a group of people strictly on the grounds of their religion is unconstitutional and disrespects the legacy of our nation’s founders. Religious freedom is essential to who we are as Americans and the suggestion that one religious group should be favored over others by our government is unacceptable. These are the values past generations have fought to preserve, and we must not be the generation that falters in their protection. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.’ These words are emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty–a universal symbol of freedom, friendship and the gateway for millions of immigrants throughout our history. Today, these words take on a new urgency in the face of the Trump Administration's immoral actions.” He also tweeted several times about the order, saying on Monday, "I stand in solidarity with @ACLU & all Americans speaking out against shameful order to defend safety of immigrants everywhere. #NoBanNoWall," as well as, "#MuslimBan hinders our academic institutions' mission to foster open discussion & teach students about the world"
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SUPPORTS: "By being provocative and by provoking action, he stirred up a lot of things," Roskam said in a radio interview Monday. "But here’s what we know, the country is safer this morning than it was 72 hours ago," he added. "President Trump is doing exactly what candidate Trump promised he’d do," Roskam said, sharing that he believes Trump is merely making good on his campaign promises. Roskam also said the president is in a "no-win situation," asking, "Can you imagine if there hadn’t been any sort of action? People would’ve said, 'Well, he campaigned on these things. He promised to do things. He failed to do it and this terrorist got through.'" Roskam also called the country’s immigration system "a mess," faulting the previous administration. "This is unfortunately the consequence of bad policies that Barack Obama allowed, that was tolerance at the borders for people who came in… with bad intent as it relates to the US," Roskam said. "Is it chaotic? Yes," he asked of Trump's order. "Is it ideal? No. Is it going to continue to be bumpy? For sure."
10/24
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OPPOSED: Davis issued the following statement on Twitter Monday: "I am outraged, and I condemn in the strongest terms, the executive order issued by President Trump aimed at the world’s most vulnerable people: refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing the most horrific wartime conditions. The order has also swept up individuals who have previously been carefully vetted by our national security system including students and faculty, green card holders, tech workers, dual nationals and others. This is an action aimed at excluding individuals based on religion and country of origin and does nothing to enhance our security. On the contrary, it will fan the flames of religious bigotry and extremism. The actions taken by Customs and Border Protection to detain, exclude and, in some cases, return individuals to immediate danger are in violation of U.S. and international law and I am doing, and will continue to do, all in my power to have the order rescinded and those who have been harmed offered protection. As is now clear from news reports, the order was drafted without appropriate input from relevant agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. The language of the executive order is vague and imprecise and the Trump administration now appears to be attempting to redefine the meaning of the order resulting in still more confusion. As Judge Ann Donnelly, who issued an emergency stay in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU stated, “I think the government hasn’t had a full chance to think about this.” The language of the order suggests that the order may be broadened in coming days beyond the seven countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and that the number of individuals potentially affected could increase significantly. Trump’s order has been met by mass protests across the country. Protesters have emphasized that the order is not only illegal but stands in contradiction to our nation’s values and precepts. We are a nation of immigrants, a nation built by immigrants, a nation drawing its character and strength from our diversity. I am proud to live among, and represent, a people who stand up for our values and I stand with and applaud those who have peacefully, but emphatically, joined together to resist this order as an attack on our democracy."
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OPPOSED: Krishnamoorthi denounced the order on Saturday in the following statement: “Because of President Trump's executive order, American citizens, people living here legally, and their families, have been detained by the US government. Many of those who have been detained today are people have made their lives here. They have followed the law and played by the rules. Most are green card holders and legal permanent U.S. residents. They are employees and business owners whose detention has a severe economic impact. President Trump’s executive order must not stand.” He also attended the protest at O'Hare Airport Saturday and elaborated on his stance in an interview with NBC 5. "I’m astonished that the President would actually bar legal, permanent residents, namely green card holders, from coming back to their country. You know, it hurts them, obviously. You know their loved ones are out there waiting for them. It hurts the businesses and the employers in this area who are relying on them to report to work tomorrow morning. This is a time, you know, we’ve got to unify the country right now. This is dividing our country, and it’s hurting our economy and working families. This makes no sense," he said, adding, "We’re talking about legal, permanent residents. Green card holders. They’ve been vetted. They’ve been processed. They came here legally. They applied legally. They’re on the road to citizenship in most of these cases," he added. "I came here as soon as I learned about these folks because some of them may be my constituents."
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OPPOSED: Schakowsky did not release an official statement, but denounced the order on Twitter and spoke against it at several events, including a protest that drew more than 1,000 people in suburban Morton Grove on Sunday. "President Trump's Executive Order is appalling, unconstitutional, and immoral. We are strong because we are diverse, and we won't be divided," she tweeted Sunday, adding "My commitment to the immigrant, Muslim, and refugee communities is as strong as ever. Proud to speak and march at several events today."
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OPPOSED: Schneider released the following statement on Friday: “Today’s executive order is a disgraceful and callous attempt to ban members of one religion by instituting a de facto religious test for entry. This discriminatory order does nothing to target the root causes of terrorism, does not make our country safer, and undermines the very values that define our nation. We are a nation founded by immigrants and refugees who were fleeing oppression and often fearful for their lives. We cannot allow fear to overwhelm our ideals and close the door on the next generation of Americans seeking refuge from war, violence, and oppression." He also attended the protest at O'Hare on Saturday, writing on Facebook that he joined in "sending the loud message that President Trump’s new executive order targeting refugees does not represent who we are as a nation." On Monday, he posted a photo on Facebook detailing this history of his family "who fled the pogroms against Jews in Russia" while holding a photo of his sons and a piece of paper reading "Five generations of the American Dream. #RefugeesWelcome"
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OPPOSED: Foster tweeted early Saturday evening ".@POTUS - we are a nation of immigrants, and we reject any ugly attempt to divide us. #MuslimBan' and issued the following statement on Tuesday: "I strongly disagree with the order. It poses a grave threat to our values and our economy. Since 1975, zero people have been killed by terrorist attacks on American soil by immigrants from the seven countries affected by Trump’s Executive Order, showing just how misplaced the priorities of the Trump Administration are. History has not looked kindly on us when we’ve prevented people fleeing violence from seeking refuge in this country. Our country thrives when people from all countries come here to build better lives, start businesses, and enroll in our schools. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation to block the Trump Administration’s travel and refugee ban. The SOLVe or Statue of Liberty Values Act would defund and rescind this order and prevent further harm to families and our national security."
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SUPPORTS: Bost did not release an official statement, but posted on Facebook hoping to clarify "some of the misinformation circulating about what the executive order does," writing, "The top priority of the federal government is to keep the American people safe. It’s clear that we need a top-down review of our vetting process. In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere, I voted for bipartisan legislation to pause the intake of refugees from certain high risk locations until our screening systems are improved. Given the world we live in today, taking steps to strengthen our national security is simple common sense."
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SUPPORTS: Davis has not released an official statement, nor posted on social media, but he shared his stance on the order with the Champaign News-Gazette on Monday. “I don’t know how anyone is surprised that Donald Trump has instituted an order like this when he said throughout his campaign that he was going to go further," Davis said. "This is actually a lot less than what he said he wanted during the campaign. But to call this a Muslim ban is completely false and frankly is dangerous because it fuels the terrorist rhetoric." Davis added that he is "against putting a pause in any of these refugee programs... until we are able to properly vet them. If you look at the executive order it calls for ensuring that we have better biometric capabilities to track individuals who come in and who leave our country from these seven countries." Davis vehemently denied that the order is a Muslim ban, saying, “To call this a Muslim ban and to attack me on that is just insulting to what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last four years, helping so many Muslim-Americans go through the proper legal channels,” he said. “If rhetoric like that is believed it becomes a recruiting tool for jihadis and is very dangerous. This executive order is a pause from the most dangerous countries in the world where our intelligence shows us that most jihadi activity wanting to hurt Americans comes from.” With regard to lawful permanent residents being detained, Davis said the order "affected less than a couple hundred individuals, and I’m glad that this administration took the time to clarify that this does not apply to green card holders and does not apply to people who already have gone through a pretty extreme vetting process that my office helps people through on a pretty regular basis."
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CONCERNED: Hultgren released a statement on Monday saying he supports efforts to "review and strengthen our visa screening processes," but ultimately called the order "overly broad": "Our nation has a strong and principled tradition as a beacon of hope for the vulnerable and oppressed. Given the nature of the threats we face in the 21st century, I believe it is prudent to once again review and strengthen our visa screening processes to ensure those we let into our country have American interests at heart. I believe we can and must continue to strive for that balance of compassion and security. I have consistently fought for strengthening our security policies. I believe that the vetting within the refugee program is already extensive and thorough—it is currently the most difficult and lengthy process to get into the United States, typically taking 18 months or more for a vulnerable family to survive while they wait approval to enter our country. I expect the rigor of the vetting process to be confirmed during the 120-day review of our current visa policies regarding refugees. I also urge recommendations that will increase collaboration and the sharing of information between our international partners, federal law enforcement agencies and local communities. Unfortunately, the President's executive order is overly broad and its interpretation has been inconsistent and confused. This has led to unintended consequences, like the barring of legal permanent residents and the rejection of Syrian Christians at the airport, a religious minority that was supposed to be protected by the executive order. Keeping America First means keeping our principles first—both compassion and security. To remain the world's shining city on a hill and beacon of hope to many, we should have our arms open to those who are fleeing oppression and seeking safety, not turning them away at the door."
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SUPPORTS: Shimkus released the following statement on Monday in favor of the order, but emphasized that exceptions to the restrictions must be granted to green card holders: "My record on this issue is clear, and has not changed: I support a vetting process that ensures every refugee, migrant or foreign national is not a security threat prior to his or her admission to the United States. That’s why I supported bipartisan legislation to stop the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees until our nation’s top security officials can be certain that each individual poses no threat to our homeland. The reality is our world has grown more dangerous, and our enemies more emboldened in the last eight years. It would be irresponsible to ignore these threats, and to allow our inadequate screening of those entering our country from unstable or hostile regions to continue as is. This temporary halt will give Congress and the new Administration time to evaluate and improve the vetting process, and in the meantime gives Secretary Kelly authority to grant exceptions to the restrictions as needed. One of those exceptions must be to green card holders, who have already undergone extensive screening. America is an extraordinarily compassionate country, and we should continue to use our unique capabilities to help those in need around the world. So far we have contributed more resources to help Syrian civilians than any other nation, more than $4.5 billion since the start of the crisis. We should continue to provide humanitarian assistance, not only together as a nation, but individually to any of the dozens of non-governmental and faith-based aide organizations doing important work there. Finally, as I’ve said for months, the most immediate way the U.S. can help refugees fleeing Iraq and Syria is to establish and guarantee safe havens within the region where they can receive vital humanitarian assistance.”
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CONCERNED: Kinzinger shared his stance via Medium post on Sunday, calling reports of green card holders being detained "deeply concerning" and urging the administration to clarify the order: "National security is paramount, and the first job of the federal government is to protect the American people. The President’s recent executive order has caused confusion among those asked to enforce it, and recent media reports have muddled facts and fiction. I urge the Administration to clarify the specifics on what should and should not be done to best protect our homeland, our people, and our communities. I support a comprehensive look at our vetting process, and I believe it’s something every new administration would be expected to do. However, reports of green card holders and those who assisted us in the war on terror being denied or delayed entry is deeply concerning. Such detention is unacceptable and must be remedied immediately. We are in a generational fight against radical Islamist terrorism. Winning the war on terror cannot be done by America alone. We must be joined by allies in the Muslim world, and with the support of other freedom-loving nations." On Monday, he tweeted a letter he sent to Trump, along with five other members of Congress from both parties, urging exceptions to the restrictions for "military interpreters, aides, and other allies who risked their lives alongside U.S. personnel in Iraq."
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OPPOSED: Bustos released the following statement on Friday: "Once again, President Donald Trump’s impulsive behavior has put lives at risk - this time it’s innocent victims fleeing ISIS terrorists and Iraqis who stood with our military who will pay the price for President Trump’s actions. Donald Trump’s hastily drafted executive order diminishes America's superpower role as a global example for democracy while undermining our national security by breaking the trust between American troops in the field and the foreign fighters they count on every single day. There is no question that we must have secure borders and comprehensive vetting procedures for new immigrants, but Donald Trump’s action slams the door on women and children fleeing from the horror of ISIS terrorists and Russian bombing raids. I strongly urge President Trump to rescind this un-American and dangerous executive order before serious damage is done.” She also offered assistance to constituents impacted by the travel ban on Twitter, and announced plans to join a protest against the order with House and Senate Democrats on Monday evening at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
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NO RESPONSE: LaHood did not release a statement and has not posted on social media regarding his stance on the order, despite multiple requests posted to his Facebook page.
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CONCERNED: A spokesperson delivered the following statement via email Sunday evening: "Governor Rauner has always said we need to balance our tradition as a nation welcoming of immigrants and refugees with legitimate national security concerns to keep Americans safe from terrorism. 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. 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."
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OPPOSED: Emanuel denounced the order on multiple occasions over the weekend, hosting a roundtable on immigration, attending a protest at O'Hare and issuing the following statement: "Today's actions have tarnished America’s standing as a beacon of hope for the free world, and there has been scant credible and confirmed information available throughout the day about the impact of the president's executive order or those detained. Following the stay that was granted this evening, I am calling on the federal government to immediately produce a list of the names of anyone currently being detained at O'Hare or Midway Airports, and calling on those unjustly affected to immediately be released and allowed to access legal counsel." On Sunday, he issued a call for Chicagoans to show immigrants they are welcome through actions such as hosting a meal or offering kind words, detailing local organizations that residents should contact to support efforts to help those impacted by the order. "Let's show the world that the City of Big Shoulders is also a city of big hearts," he said.
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OPPOSED: Madigan joined 15 other attorneys general in condemning the order and promising to work to assist those impacted. Their joint statement reads: “As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump's unconstitutional, unAmerican and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith. Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth. Yesterday, multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the Administration’s dangerous Executive Order. We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values. We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created.”
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