Legislation Would Forbid Enforcement of Order by Port Authority Employees
Legislation Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Annette Quijano, John Wisniewski and Gordon Johnson sponsored to stop enforcement of a federal executive order restricting immigration to the United States was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.
“Some of the world’s most desperate people are fleeing their home countries to seek safety in the United States. President Trump’s ban is founded upon falsehoods – from the suggestion that refugees haven’t already been thoroughly vetted to the notion that they want to cause Americans harm,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “New Jersey is fundamentally opposed to this ill-conceived measure, and we must take steps to prevent its enforcement.”
The bill (A-4589) would prohibit the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from assisting with enforcement of President Donald J. Trump’s executive order denying refugees and citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries entry into the United States. The agency operates and maintains the busiest airport system in the country, which includes Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia Airport.
Under the legislation, no employee or officer of the Port Authority may provide any aid, resources, assistance or support to any federal employee or representative to enforce the executive order. The bill also prohibits the use of Port Authority resources or facilities to enforce the executive order.
“New Jersey is home to so many men and women who came to the United States in pursuit of a better life. Now, by turning people in need away, President Trump actively is tearing down what this country stands for,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Our state has an obligation to oppose this misguided public policy.”
“President Trump has chosen to govern by preying on fear instead of inspiring hope. That’s not how New Jersey operates,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “We know that a blanket ban of people from a certain geographic region does nothing but perpetuate biases and drive us further away from our values as a nation.”
“The president’s executive order is a thinly-veiled way to implement a worldview that is not only discriminatory but also unconstitutional,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “New Jersey cannot in good faith agree to carry out such a policy.”
The measure would take effect upon enactment into law by both New Jersey and New York. It was advanced by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, of which Wisniewski is chair and Vainieri Huttle is vice-chair.