Today, by majority vote, the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights expressed deep concern that recent Executive Orders – in particular, 13768 and 13769 – promote and endorse religious and national origin discrimination, in contravention of our nation’s core principles. The statement can be viewed under “Highlights” at www.usccr.gov.
Executive Order (EO) 13769 sets out different treatment for persons coming to the United States, and raises the specter of government endorsement of religious and possibly national origin discrimination. The Commission notes that federal courts have recognized that evidence suggests the EO was motivated by prohibited bias.
Executive Order 13768 calls for denying federal funding to any “sanctuary jurisdiction” and mandates a public weekly report of criminal actions alleged to have been committed by undocumented immigrants. Elevating such allegations to a special federal reporting status raises national origin discrimination concerns.
In light of White House announcements indicating the intention to supersede these actions, the Commission encourages the Administration to diligently assess the serious civil rights concerns emanating from the initial Executive Orders and to remedy any such infirmities prior to issuance.
Chair Catherine E. Lhamon stated: “Government action that communicates animus rather than equity strikes against our core national ideals. This Commission calls for adherence to constitutional principles in our national interest.”
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with studying and advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing an annual federal civil rights enforcement report.