Rep. Keith Ellison on President Trump's Travel Ban

February 8th 2017

Mike Rothschild


In the wake of President Donald Trump's ban on immigration from seven majority Muslim nations, ATTN: editor-in-chief Matthew Segal sat down with Rep. Keith Ellison - the first Muslim ever elected to the U.S. Congress to get his thoughts on the executive order. 

Keith Ellison

While the Minnesota Democrat is against the travel ban, he made it clear to Segal that it's not because of his own personal faith.

"My reaction [to the ban] stems from me being an American who believes Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or establishing the free exercise thereof," Ellison said, quoting the First Amendment.

While President Trump has consistently changed his wording on what the executive order really does, Ellison believes it to be exactly what Trump spoke of on the campaign trail.

"Calling it a 'travel ban' is a euphemism. It's a Muslim ban. That's not me making it up, he said it," Ellison told Segal, referring to Trump's December 2015 speech calling for a "total and complete" shut down of Muslims entering the United States.

"He said he wants to put Muslims in a database. He said he wants to close down mosques. He's said all that," Ellison added. 

Keith Ellison Being Sworn IN

He went on to point out that none of the 9/11 hijackers came from countries on Trump's ban list - nor did homegrown terrorists like Timothy McVeigh or Charleston mass shooter Dylann Roof.

In response to the ban, which Ellison believes will be struck down, he calls for mass resistance. "Denounce this thing, protest against it, litigate against it," he said, "turn up the heat on [Trump] and organize against him."

Ellison then continued with saying: "It's very clear that he's not a friend of the working person. One of the first things he did was try to make it harder to get an FHA loan. He's going to be very unpopular in the next 6-12 months."