By RON KAMPEAS
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two moderate Jewish Democrats spearheaded a call on the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives to bring a bill forward that would nullify President Donald Trump’s restrictions on immigration from a number of Muslim majority countries.
“As Americans, we must stand against the persecution of religious minorities,” said letter sent Thursday to the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, D-CA., and her deputies. “To pass the NO BAN Act is to stand up for the bedrock American value of religious liberty.”
The letter sent Thursday was signed by 32 moderate Democrats, many who represent districts won by Trump in 2016. The letter signals that Democrats see immigration as a winning issue in this year’s congressional and presidential elections.
Two of the three lawmakers spearheading the letter are Jewish: Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Max Rose of New York. The third is Stephanie Murphy of Florida. Among the signatories were another four Jewish Democrats in swing districts: Elaine Luria in Virginia, Elissa Slotkin in Michigan, Kim Schrier in Washington and Susan Wild in Pennsylvania.
The act was introduced last year by Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA., and has the support of most of the Democratic caucus. A release to the press announcing the letter said it was spurred in part by unconfirmed reports that Trump plans to expand the ban to other Muslim majority countries.
The Trump administration says the restrictions are not religiously discriminatory and are based on threat assessments.