PASSAIC COUNTY - At the February 14th meeting of the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Board unanimously passed a resolution opposing President Trump’s travel ban, and re-affirmed the county's commitment as a place where all are welcome. In keeping with traditions of this nation, we will continue to accept all the weary, tired and poor, regardless of race, creed, religion or national origin.
“The first people who came to this country on the Mayflower were religious refugees that were forced to choose between execution and exile from England, and they made this country their new home,” said Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara. “The very first American’s were religious refugees, just like the ones from Syria and the rest of the Middle East. It would be completely un-American to turn them away.”
This decision was reached based on the principles of our country, as well as the fact that Trump’s travel ban violates the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which banned all discrimination against immigrants to ensure equal access, and the Refugee Act of 1980, which declared it to be “the historic policy of the Unsuited States to respond to the urgent needs of persons subject to persecution in their homelands.”
By the same token, multiple Federal Courts have since halted the enforcement of the travel ban, resulting from serious constitutional challenges to the order’s broad and discriminatory language. Numerous members of Congress, while supporting the idea behind the travel ban, have described Trump’s executive order as flawed, poorly explained, and poorly executed.
“The policy that President Trump put into effect is a failure on all counts,” said Freeholder Assad Akhter, the county's first Muslim American freeholder. “In the last 15 years, there has not been a single major terrorist attack from immigrants from the seven countries affected by the travel ban."
"Trump’s executive order is also having a negative impact on our country’s security as well," added Freeholder Akhter. "I was there at Newark Airport the night the Executive Order went in to place and saw the chaos of how Customs officials had no idea how to fairly apply such an order, which they had just received from Washington. Furthermore, this Executive Order is only helping the propaganda efforts of those radicals who actually seek to attack our nation."
This resolution comes on the heels of similar resolutions passed by the City of Passaic and Borough of Prospect Park, along with various towns around New Jersey, opposing the ban and re-affirming their status as Sanctuary Cities.
“We will stand together with other cities and counties in New Jersey in opposition to President Trump’s travel ban,” concluded Freeholder Director Lazzara.