WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) issued the following statement after the Trump administration announced plans to sign executive orders that would impose severe limitations on immigration and refugees. The executive orders will limit access for refugees who come from predominantly Muslim countries and allow for the construction of a border wall.

“As Americans we are best when we hold our values close. We value the freedom to practice one’s religion without persecution, the freedom of self-determination, the freedom to build a good life for oneself and one’s family – these values are non-negotiable. But President Trump, and the Republicans who support him, are acting as if our shared beliefs, set forth in the Constitution, can be tossed aside.

“We are stronger when our decisions reflect our shared values of inclusion and equality. We are safer when we unite against actual threats. Demonizing people in search of a better life only increases ill-will towards us around the world. Forcing local jurisdictions by presidential mandate to assist with civil immigration enforcement will break faith with immigrant communities only to sow fear and mistrust. Militarizing the southern border and making immigration detention mandatory will only waste exorbitant amounts of taxpayer money and ensure vulnerable people continue to live in fear.

“Refugees, by definition, are those fleeing persecution – not persecutors themselves. Closing our borders to refugees fleeing devastation and war is morally indefensible. It’s cruel and it’s un-American.

"Later this year, Congress will have an opportunity to block these discriminatory policies.  The CPC hopes that colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join us using the power of the purse to stop these attacks on our fundamental values.

“This isn’t just campaign rhetoric anymore. It’s policy. And it may endanger people’s lives.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest values-based caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.