NJ/NY lawmakers announce bill to stop Port Authority from enforcing travel restrictions
State senators from New York and New Jersey have banded together to propose legislation that would prevent the Port Authority from enforcing President Donald Trump's travel restriction order.
The lawmakers held a news conference Wednesday in Jersey City in view of the Statue of Liberty. They say the bill will try to stop federal agents from using Port Authority spaces, particularly the airports, to enforce the restrictions. They say they will even resort to shutting off the electricity if they have to.
"We will not contribute one penny of our resources. We will not allow our personnel to participate in this travesty," said New York state Sen. Michael Gianaris.
Trump's executive order restricts citizens from seven mostly-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
New Jersey state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, the daughter of a Ukrainian immigrant, says the order is unconstitutional.
"This beautiful site welcomed generations of immigrants before we got here and hopefully we'll be doing the same through our airports now more likely in the future," she said.
Supporters of the order say that the countries listed were already named countries of concern under the Obama administration. They say that it is not a ban on the Muslim religion.
Governors from New York and New Jersey must sign off on the bill if it passes both Houses. New Jersey Republican lawmakers have already criticized the legislation.
A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie would not comment specifically on whether the governor would consider this legislation.
Christie on Tuesday said the travel restriction rollout was "terrible" and it "caused confusion" but also said it shouldn't be used by critics for "political gain."