Rosenberg likens Trump travel ban to Nazi Germany
Senate president says Dems will caucus to discuss the order
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
DRAWING LINKS TO Nazi Germany, the president of the Massachusetts Senate condemned the Trump administration’s move to bar entry into the country of nationals from seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who is Jewish, said the issuance of President Donald Trump’s executive order on Holocaust Remembrance Day was a particular affront, and he said senators would discuss the matter later this week.
“If you study the history of what happened in Germany it was one incremental policy change after another after another after another. And before you know it you turned around and you saw what happened as a result of that,” the Amherst Democrat told the News Service outside the Senate chamber on Monday. “And I’m just really very upset that he did it at all. And that he did it on that day is just to forget history and not understand the pain they’re causing.”
Trump on Friday signed an executive order barring for 90 days the entry of non-U.S. citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – majority Muslim nations that have been wrought by conflict and which Trump says were identified by the Obama administration “as sources of terror.”
Pro-immigration protests erupted at airports around the country over the weekend as lawyers sought and eventually achieved the release of individuals detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Refugee Admissions Program was also temporarily suspended.
Gov. Charlie Baker said his office is working with Attorney General Maura Healey on a brief her office will file in court challenging the ban. Baker defended his absence from the rallies, saying his job was to ensure the protests could take place peacefully and safely as well as work with the federal government on a variety of issues.
“I made my views clear on Donald Trump as a candidate, I’ve made my views clear a number of times on issues that have taken place since he took office, and I will continue to do that,” Baker said during his monthly appearance on “Boston Public Radio” on WGBH. “But I also have a job to do and the job I have to do is to represent the state’s interest every day around federal policy that has tremendous import to Massachusetts.”
But he said he was troubled both by the content of the order as well as the way it was rolled out and the rag-tag enforcement over the weekend. Baker also said he rejects any ban based on religion.
“I don’t believe that we should be discriminating against religions with respect to who can get in and who can’t get in this country,” Baker said. “It’s kind of fundamental of who we are and what we are about.”
Before winning election in November, Trump suggested during his campaign temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the country.
Senate Democrats are scheduled to caucus privately on Wednesday, and Rosenberg said the order would be a topic of that discussion.
Trump has refuted assertions the policy amounted to a Muslim ban, and said the U.S. would resume visa issuing to “all countries” after the 90-day review.
“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” Trump said in a statement. “There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.”Colin A. Young contributed to this report.