Legislation Would Forbid Enforcement of Federal Executive Order by Port Authority Employees
Legislation Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Annette Quijano, John Wisniewski, Gordon Johnson and Raj Mukherji sponsored to stop enforcement of a federal executive order restricting immigration to the United States received final legislative approval on Thursday. It now heads to the governor’s desk.
“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 employees and officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from assisting with enforcement of President Donald J. Trump’s March 6, 2017 executive order denying nearly all travelers from 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 president’s travel ban is not just an affront to human decency and all of the diverse Americans from different religions and backgrounds who serve in uniform, but also an affront to our core American values,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “What make our democracy great are its diversity and welcoming spirit. This legislation ensures that the Port Authority and the nation’s busiest airport system will not participate in carrying out the administration’s discriminatory agenda.”
The measure would take effect upon enactment into law by both New Jersey and New York.
The bill, which the Assembly approved 48-25-2 in March, was passed 22-14 by the Senate.