By Emily Lawler
LANSING, MI -- Michigan Democrats in the House and Senate are speaking out against an executive order to pause immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
"We have an opportunity to denounce this ban and not remain silent. We have an opportunity to place ourselves on the right side of history... or we can keep quiet and blindly follow the president as he joins the antagonists of history," said Sen. Coleman Young II, D-Detroit, in a Senate speech on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump last week signed an executive order banning nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States for at least 90 days while. The order resulted in some foreigners being detained once they reached U.S. airports and spurred protests across the nation, including in Detroit.
In the House, Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, introduced a resolution to urge Trump to reverse his immigration order
"I'm the great-grandson of eastern European Jews who fled to the United States to escape the horrors of anti-Semitism. Their immediate family members who remained in Europe were trapped in the emerging Third Reich and perished," Moss said in a statement.
He said the immigration order was like watching history repeat itself.
"When Jews say 'never again,' we mean never again for everyone, including those in Syria and other unstable parts of the world who are seeking relief and safety from violently oppressive governments and terrorist organizations," Moss said.
Young, too, expressed concern about refugees, who he said were fleeing dangerous situations in their countries of origin.
"If we do not accept harmless refugees we risk the lives of every single person we send back, including those of babies and children," Young said.
Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, drew a parallel between Trump's order and the post-WWII Japanese internment that Michigander Fred Korematsu went up against in federal court in the 1940s.
As the Senate passed a resolution honoring Korematsu Tuesday, he quoted from the dissent issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case, which was authored by former Detroit mayor Frank Murphy. Murphy had classified the internment of Japanese-Americans as racism.
Moss's resolution would have to earn support from the majority of the Michigan House -- which is controlled by Republicans -- to become official.
Democrats in Michigan's congressional delegation voiced opposition to the order as well, and Republican U.S. Representatives from the state weighed in on both sides of the issue.