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Representing California’s 16th District
Fresno County · Merced County · Madera County
January 31, 2017 202-222-8569

Costa Says Refugee Ban is Putting U.S. Citizens in Harm’s Way

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the Ali family joined a class action lawsuit in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban refugees from the United States.

“America is a nation of immigrants past and present, and the Ali family is a reflection of America. Mr. Ahmed Ali and his family are not only constituents of mine, but they are U.S. citizens who need our country’s help. Mr. Ali and his wife earned their U.S. citizenship and for seven years, the Ali family has gone through a rigorous vetting process to bring their 12-year-old daughter home to the United States. Their daughter has been legally granted a U.S. immigrant visa to come to the country and become a United States citizen. President Trump’s executive order is preventing this legal process from taking place, and is putting Mr. Ali and his young daughter in harm’s way while they wait in Djibouti. Sadly, there are many others that are facing similar circumstances. It is my intent, as their Congressman, to explore every appropriate option to get them back to the United States safely.

“This refugee ban is flawed, both in its lack of adherence to American values and in its technical execution, and could possibly be ruled unconstitutional. It seems the President is fulfilling a campaign promise, and this is being done by burdening those fleeing the horrors of war in their own countries, and without substantially increasing American national security. In doing so, our values and our country, are being put at risk. A bipartisan group of national security experts agree that the executive order does not make Americans safer and could potentially put our country at greater risk for terrorist attacks. I agree with them.

“Since September 11, 2001, there has been a focused bipartisan effort to improve security for Americans both at home and abroad, and by and large, it’s been successful. It is our first Constitutional duty to ensure the national defense and the safety of Americans, and President Trump’s executive order is doing the opposite. The executive order will create a rallying cry for Islamic extremists to say that America is now engaged in a war against the religion of Islam. No good can come from this.

“It’s clear that this executive order is putting Mr. Ali, his daughter, and others in harm’s way. My staff and I are working diligently through the appropriate channels with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to bring Mr. Ali and his daughter home as soon as possible.”