Democratic Reps. condemn immigration order, demand briefing

Feb 1, 2017 Issues: Immigration Reform

King 5: Democratic Reps. condem immigration order, demand breifing 

By Natalie Brand 

SEATTLE - Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-07, and other Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee are asking for an emergency briefing before all House members, on the extreme vetting executive order and its chaotic rollout over the weekend.

A letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly cites “urgency, widespread confusion and dangerous impact of the Executive Order,” and requests a briefing by the end of the week in response to President Donald Trump's order to temporarily ban immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim majority countries.

“The Executive Order harms our families, economy and national security,” the letter states in part.

So far, 100 Democratic members have signed on to the request, including Washington Reps. Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer and Adam Smith.

The new letter follows a closed-door meeting Tuesday with both Republican and Democratic chairs and of several House Committees, including Judiciary, Intelligence and Homeland Security.

Kelly also held a news conference with reporters Tuesday, defending the controversial order.

“These orders are matter of national security,” Kelly told reporters.

“This is not a travel ban, this is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system,” Kelly also said.

“Furthermore, this is not, I repeat, not, a ban on Muslims,” he continued.

The new request by Democratic members comes as the order faces legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed this week in federal court by the Washington State Attorney General.

The first hearing in the case to request a temporary restraining