In a controversial decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in a 5-4 decision upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban of the predominately Muslim countries including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
The decision reversed lower court decisions that considered the ban to be unconstitutional or illegal.
“The President concluded that it was necessary to impose entry restrictions on nationals of countries that do not share adequate information for an informed entry determination, or that otherwise present national security risks,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the court’s opinion, according to the York Daily Record.
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway, JFK Airport) and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D) denounced the decision of the country’s highest court, and promised to continue their fight for immigrant communities.
“I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling to uphold President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. As has been made clear from the very beginning, Trump’s executive order was born from an intent to single out Muslims, and midwifed through post-hoc security justifications. Rather than protecting our nation from threats abroad, the Muslim ban plays directly into the hands of extremists who welcome the narrative of a religious war,” said Meeks.
“The theft of President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination by the Republican Senate has already proven to have far reaching and long lasting consequences. With Justice Gorsuch further slanting the bench toward a conservative ideology, SCOTUS has failed to serve as a check on Trump, it has failed to protect women, it has failed to block minority voter suppression, it has failed to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community, and it has failed again today.
“In empowering the White House to discriminate based on nationality and religion, our nation’s highest court has abetted in one of our nation’s lowest points in history. The absence of rigorous judicial oversight has left only Congress to serve as a check on this administrations prejudicial animus,” Meeks concluded.
Katz said the Supreme Court has been on the wrong side of history before, and history will judge this decision just as harshly.
“Such state-sanctioned discrimination and xenophobia have rendered some of the deepest stains on our nation’s history. Queens – the birthplace of religious freedom in the United States courtesy of the Flushing Remonstrance, home to over 2.3 million residents (half of whom were born abroad), and host to New York City’s two major airports – is deeply disappointed by this decision that affirms such wholesale profiling,” said Katz, an attorney and former professor of Constitutional Law.
“We are a nation of immigrants, and Queens is about all of our families’ futures. Together, we will continue to do everything possible to help counteract the hostility of the current political climate,” she added.