Arizona lawmakers split along party lines in reaction to travel ban ruling

Jun 26, 2018, 1:09 PM
The lights burn inside of the House of Representatives side of the U.S. Capitol late Saturday night...
The lights burn inside of the House of Representatives side of the U.S. Capitol late Saturday night, Nov. 7, 2009 in Washington as the health care bill is debated. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

PHOENIX – Arizona lawmakers responded, unsurprisingly, along party lines to Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling that upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries.

Several of the state’s U.S. House members from both sides of the aisle weighed in after the court ruled in favor of the Trump administration in a 5-4 vote.

Republicans lauded the decision on Twitter:

Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva called it “a shameful retreat from our values.”

Democrat Ruben Gallego issued a statement calling the decision “disappointing and dangerous.”

“Trump’s Muslim ban casts a wide net of bigotry across an entire region, endangering people who are fleeing terrorism and fueling the recruitment and propaganda machines of groups like ISIS,” the statement said. “It will keep families apart, and does nothing to make our country safer.”

In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. He also rejected the challengers’ claim of anti-Muslim bias.

The Trump policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries, blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families.

Appearing on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona Morning News, Republican Rep. Andy Biggs called the ruling “a positive step” and said arguments that the travel ban violated the Constitution’s religious freedom guarantees weren’t valid.

“The contention on the First Amendment issue was specious because that would imply that there was a 100 percent Muslims coming from those countries … and that’s not the case,” he said. “So that argument fell pretty quickly, I think.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona lawmakers split along party lines in reaction to travel ban ruling