18 Jewish groups urge Congress to pass bill to end Trump’s travel ban
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18 Jewish groups urge Congress to pass bill to end Trump’s travel ban

After Democratic members introduce legislation aimed at repealing president’s immigration efforts, liberal groups led by HIAS send letter stating they stand by ‘Muslim neighbors’

US President Donald Trump gestures after speaking during the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas, April 6, 2019. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/via JTA)
US President Donald Trump gestures after speaking during the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas, April 6, 2019. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/via JTA)

JTA — Eighteen Jewish organizations called on Congress to pass a bill seeking to end US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens of certain predominantly Muslim countries from traveling to the US.

On Wednesday, Senator Chris Coons, and Representative Judy Chu introduced bills in the Senate and House, respectively, to repeal three versions of the president’s travel ban. The current version places entry restrictions on citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen.

HIAS, an immigrant advocacy and aid group formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, organized the letter sent Wednesday to members of Congress.

“We stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors, and in support of refugees and asylum seekers from around the world,” the letter reads. “As American Jews, we are proud of our country’s legacy as a place that welcomes people who are forced to flee their homelands in search of safety.”

Protesters against US President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations stand in front of the Bradley Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Among the signatories are official groups representing the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Jewish denominations as well as the Orthodox social justice organization Uri L’Tzedek. American Jewish World Service, the Anti-Defamation League, J Street and the National Council of Jewish Women also signed.

Last year, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s executive order mandating a ban on travel from several Muslim majority countries, a decision criticized by major Jewish organizations. Trump had issued similar bans twice before but they were blocked by lower courts.

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