Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending new-refugee admissions for 120 days and blocking travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days. Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely.
The move stirred immediate controversy, sparking protests in New York and across the U.S. as federal authorities began enforcing the ban. WNYC, NPR and dozens of member stations wanted to help the public understand where their lawmakers stand on the issue. Collectively, we searched for public statements on Twitter, on members of Congress’s web sites and in interviews with us or other news organizations. Here's what we found:
Of the 29 members of the New York delegation (this includes the two U.S. Senators), 20 are opposed, six are in favor, two are unclear, and one member has not made a statement. In New Jersey, 11 are opposed, one in favor, one unclear, and one member has not made a statement. Connecticut is far clearer: All seven members are opposed.
Help us keep this tool accurate! Submit changes in position and new statements here.
A few observations and notes on how we put this together:
• We created four categories to represent each member’s position: In Favor, Oppose, No Statement and Statement Unclear.
• If we could not find a statement from a member of Congress on the issue, even if they have taken a position on previous bills aimed at restricting refugee access to the United States, we marked their position as “No Statement.”
• When a statement was clearly in favor or opposition to the order, it was labeled as such. But many statements were less clear-cut, indicating support for increased scrutiny of refugees and travelers from the seven nations but also showing concern about the specifics of the order and its implementation. Those statements were labeled “Statement Unclear.”
• Two members of Congress, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Angus King of Maine, identify as Independents. Because they caucus with Democrats, we included them in the Democrat column.
• Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is President Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, has supported the intent of order in the past but has not made a statement, as is customary for Cabinet nominees. The same is true for Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.
• Help us keep this tool accurate! Submit changes in position and new statements here [need code].