Chicago-area Democrats in Congress lashed out Monday at what party leaders called President Donald Trump's "hateful" executive order on immigration, and several joined an evening protest outside the Supreme Court.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a New Delhi-born Democrat from Schaumburg, addressed a huge throng of protesters who cried out, "No ban. No wall," in front of the high court.
"I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution," the first-term lawmaker told the crowd. "The executive order that was just issued is an assault on the Constitution, it hurts working families and the economy, and it divides our country."
"It's time to fight back. Are you ready for the fight?" Krishnamoorthi asked.
The crowd roared back with one of former President Barack Obama's campaign chants: "Fired up. Ready to go."
Sen. Tammy Duckworth was at the protest. Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston, Brad Schneider of Deerfield, Dan Lipinski of Western Springs, Bill Foster of Naperville and Cheri Bustos of East Moline planned to attend the protest, aides said.
People at the rally held placards including one that said: "Will trade racists 4 refugees."
Schakowsky, in an interview earlier Monday, said she had addressed demonstrators at O'Hare International Airport on Sunday and thanked lawyers who were assisting travelers who were held for secondary processing.
It was on Friday that Trump triggered a firestorm by ordering that no refugees be admitted to the U.S. for 120 days and the arrival of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — be halted for 90 days.
Hultgren, from west suburban Plano, said that the vetting of refugees entering the U.S. already was thorough. It's a long, difficult process that typically lasts 18 months or longer for a "vulnerable" family, he said.
He said Trump's "overly broad" order had had "unintended consequences," singling out the rejection of Syrian Christians at Philadelphia's airport.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from the Joliet area, said Sunday in a blog post that Trump's executive order had "caused confusion among those asked to enforce it," while media reports had "muddled facts and fiction."
"I urge the administration to clarify the specifics on what should and should not be done to best protect our homeland," the post said.
Kinzinger said he was deeply concerned by reports that people with green cards and people who assisted the U.S. were being denied entry or subject to delayed entry.
Kinzinger, an Air National Guard pilot, did not vote for Trump and wrote in an unspecified candidate.
Before the rally, Democrats from the state spoke out in harsher terms.
"I am outraged, and I condemn in the strongest terms, the executive order ... aimed at the world's most vulnerable people," Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago said in a statement.
Schakowsky said Trump's order "had struck fear in the hearts of millions of Americans" and predicted protests such as those at O'Hare would not stop. Illinois is an immigrant-rich state, and millions of people nationwide "feel this is counter to American values," she said.
She condemned Trump's order as "immoral" and "extremely dangerous" to national security since the U.S. relies on cooperation from several Muslim countries in the war against terror.
Schakowsky also predicted that House Republicans who support the order will be at risk in the 2018 midterm elections.
Foster, in a statement, said: "History has not looked kindly on us when we've prevented people fleeing violence from seeking refuge in this country."
Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago, a pro-immigration voice in Congress, will address the executive order from the House floor Tuesday, said Doug Rivlin, his spokesman.
Gutierrez asked for a head count of people held up at O'Hare, as well as their names and visa status, but has not gotten a response from the Department of Homeland Security, Rivlin said.
Lipinski thinks the executive order is "ill-conceived and harmful to innocent individuals," spokesman Isaac Sancken said.
Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago strongly opposes what he called the "shameful, un-American Muslim ban," said Tara Vales, his spokeswoman.
He and Schakowsky have joined more than 30 Democratic colleagues in sponsoring a bill to allow so-called sanctuary cities—Chicago is one—to continue to receive federal funding, Vales said.
Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, did not respond to Tribune questions about whether he supported Trump's immigration order.