Prieto, Sumter, Schaer, Muoio & Gusciora Resolution Approved
(TRENTON) – The Assembly voted 45-17-3 Wednesday to approve legislation Assembly Democrats Speaker Vincent Prieto, Shavonda Sumter, Gary Schaer, Elizabeth Muoio and Reed Gusciora sponsored condemning President Trump’s actions targeting immigrants, while also urging the New Jersey attorney general to join others in opposing Trump’s immigration ban.
“President Trump’s effort to reverse our nation’s great long-standing tradition of embracing the world’s most vulnerable people is un-American and disturbing,” said Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen), who immigrated to the United States from Cuba as a child. “America is built on immigrants. The huddled masses yearning to breathe free made America the place where people of all backgrounds and creeds can pursue life, liberty and happiness. I’ve lived under a heartless and murderous regime, and I know what it’s like to find freedom. I don’t want that opportunity denied to anyone. With this resolution, we will make our voices in opposition ring clear. We will never support President Trump’s cruel policies, and it’s time for New Jersey’s attorney general to stand with us and for civil rights and support the effort across our nation to fight these wrongful policies.”
· Condemns the executive order signed by President Trump suspending immigration for 90 days from seven Muslim-majority countries, suspending all refugee admissions into the United States for 120 days and indefinitely barring all Syrian refugees from entering the United States;
· Condemns the firing of the acting attorney general for refusing to enforce the ban, which she deemed unlawful;
· Extends support to the states of Washington and Minnesota in their legal fight against the president’s immigration ban; and
· Urges the New Jersey attorney general to join his fellow attorneys general in their amicus brief supporting a federal district court’s stay of the ban.
“The United States has always been a nation that welcomes and protects those seeking to practice their religious beliefs without fear of government persecution,” said Sumter (D-Passaic/Bergen), the Assembly Majority Conference Leader. “New Jersey always celebrates the diversity of our residents and takes great pride in the contributions made by immigrants, past and present. President Trump’s un-American policies are having a direct adverse impact on the lives of many New Jersey families, but with this resolution we make clear that we will be there for New Jersey families each and every time. We will stand for what’s right – and against President Trump.”
“History has tragically taught us that you must not stand silent when government attempts to strip away basic human rights,” said Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen), the Assembly Budget Committee chairman. “New Jersey’s strength is rooted in its diversity. Immigrants built this nation and this state, adding to the rich tapestry that is America. We especially cannot turn away those in harm’s way, and we cannot sit idle when America’s great values and traditions of immigration and free speech are being trampled upon. President Trump must hear loud and clear that we do not accept his agenda. This isn’t about politics and party. This is about something bigger – our nation and our values.”
“The Constitution is not optional,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “We as Americans don’t get to pick and choose which provisions apply, when they apply and to whom they apply. We are a nation founded, built and inhabited by descendants of many nations and followers of many religions, and when you threaten the rights of any of us, you threaten the rights of all of us. As state legislators, we are duty-bound to lift our voices in opposition to these actions that threaten the constitutional protections that serve as the foundation of this country.”
“If we don’t stand in strong opposition to President Trump’s efforts targeting immigrants, free speech and religious freedom, then we are opening the door to any number of efforts to restrict our liberties on any number of fronts,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “Keeping quiet or pretending this isn’t happening is not an option. Trump has split up families, detained children and the elderly, caused confusion and disturbingly helped sow anti-American sentiment around the world. He’s making America unsafe, all while chipping away at the values we hold dear as Americans. Those who stand with President Trump or remain quiet at this moment will be judged by history, and it will be a harsh judgment.”
The resolution will now be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to President Trump, Vice President Pence, the Majority and Minority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, every member of Congress elected from New Jersey and the New Jersey Attorney General.