St. Paul, Minn. (Feb. 1, 2017) — State Sen. Sandra Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) joins Jewish state legislators across the country to oppose President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration. Sen. Pappas is a board member of the National Association of Jewish Legislators (NAJL).
Sen. Pappas and the board sent out the following statement:
“We strongly affirm the principle of religious freedom guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Throughout history, the Jewish people have been persecuted as strangers in a strange land. Our Jewish tradition is rooted in the belief that we should welcome all people seeking shelter and safety.
Therefore, we find the Presidential Executive Orders issued last Friday authorizing a wall on the Mexican-American border and blocking certain refugees and other people from entering the United States based on their nationality or religion outrageous and un-American. In practice, the Orders “blacklist” Muslims, create a state-sponsored religious hierarchy, promoting confrontation and hate, not cooperation and diplomacy.
It was particularly unfortunate that the Executive Orders were issued on Holocaust Remembrance Day and that the White House failed to mention that the Holocaust was the systematic, state- sponsored murder of six million Jews.
As Jews, we have seen the devastating impacts of the United States refusing refugees fleeing for their lives, from the turning away of the MS Saint Louis in 1939 to “quotas” against European immigrants seeking refuge here. Understanding this history is critical to our nation’s ability to learn from our past.
We reject policies violating core American values that result in discriminatory action against people based on their faith, race, or national origin. An attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths.
The Executive Orders issued last week must be rescinded.
Instead, we urge the President to work together with Congress to develop better immigration policies that maintain our democratic values of freedom and tolerance.”
Other members of NAJL Board include: Representative Patrice Arent, Utah; Assemblyman David Weprin, New York; Delegate Eileen Filler Corn, Virginia; Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, Nevada; Representative Dan Frankel, Pennsylvania; Delegate Shelly Hettleman, Maryland; Representative Richard Stark, Florida; Senator Sandy Pappas, Minnesota; Representative Tana Senn, Washington; Representative Lori Ehrlich, Massachusetts; Representative Matthew Lesser, Connecticut; Representative Michael Schlossberg, Pennsylvania; Representative David Leland, Ohio; Representative Sara Feigenholtz, Illinois; Representative Beth Bernstein, South Carolina; Assemblyman Marc Levine, California.