WASHINGTON ― Khizr Khan is increasing pressure on Democrats to stall and outright block President Donald Trump’s agenda if his executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries isn’t repealed.
The Gold Star father rose to national prominence last year after giving an impassioned speech against Trump’s proposed Muslim ban at the Democratic National Convention. He remained vocal after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election, and on Wednesday joined a group of House Democrats and civil liberty advocates at the steps of the U.S. Capitol to denounce the ban.
“We will not be withdrawing. We will not be pushed back. We will remain standing. This country is with us,” Khan said in a fiery speech. “Don’t take me there yet, we are not willing to go that way yet. But this needs to stop. If it doesn’t stop here, the world is waiting to join us. We will boycott everything, and anything, Trump if this continues.”
“Because of his malice toward Muslims, [Trump] has endangered their lives,” he added. “He has alienated patriotic Americans in the United States.”
Because of his malice toward Muslims, [Trump] has endangered their lives. He has alienated patriotic Americans in the United States. Khizr Khan
Democrats rushed to catch up with the anti-Trump fervor among their base this week, after a few party officials joined protests in the first week of his presidency. Democratic lawmakers joined protests at the nation’s airports, voiced their opposition from the steps of the Supreme Court, and even boycotted a Senate hearing on two of Trump’s Cabinet nominees.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who was the first Muslim elected to Congress and is now running for the chair of the Democratic National Committee, followed suit at Wednesday’s press conference.
“If [Trump] can ban Muslims, he can ban Seven Day Adventists, he can Catholics, he can ban Jews. We’ve gotta take a stand right here, right now,” he said at the event, which was organized by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Trump’s administration has continued to defend the ban ― which also halted all refugee admission ― in the name of national security. The president tweeted on Wednesday that it was “about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country.”
The likelihood of an American being killed in a terrorist attack caused by a refugee is 1 in 3.64 billion per year, according to the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.