Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) joined Attorney General Mark Herring (D) and Loudoun religious and community leaders at the Sterling branch of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center on Feb. 3 as a show of support for Muslims. The appearance was also to denounce president Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
“We’re here for one reason. We are here to send a message to president Trump that we will not stand by for his unlawful, unconstitutional, morally repugnant executive order,” McAuliffe said.
Trump’s executive order has been called a “Muslim ban” and led to confusion and fear at airports, including Dulles International. At least two green card holders from Yemen were deported from Dulles to Ethopia, and an unknown number of travelers from the seven impacted countries have been separated from their families, detained and questioned, sometimes for hours without access to lawyers or food and water. Demonstrators have protested the ban across the country, including at Dulles and the ADAMS Center.
National and state political leaders including McAuliffe, Herring, Virginia’s 10th District Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R) and both of the Commonwealth’s senators, Tim Kaine (D) and Mark Warner (D), have come out against the order. Supporters have called it a necessary national security measure and that the ban is to stop transportation from countries that harbor terror, not because the countries are predominantly Muslim.
McAuliffe called the ban discriminatory as well as a detriment to the nation’s economy and education system. He said the Virginian government would continue to show solidarity and support for Muslims in the Commonwealth.
“An attack on the Muslim faith is an attack on all faiths of the globe,” McAuliffe said.
Herring said Virginia’s government is working to overturn the ban through the court system. The courts have ordered the Trump administration to turn over a complete list of Virginia residents sent back from airports by Feb. 9. On Feb. 10, the attorney general’s office will present to a judge reasons to impose a preliminary injunction of the order, which would put a stay on the ban until it can be further argued in court.
McAuliffe and Herring both said they are confident they have the legal standing to overturn the ban.
“There is no question the immigration ban is a government order that was written because of animus towards Muslims because of their faith,” Herring said. “That is unlawful, unconstitutional and un-American.”