29 January 2017, Sea-Tac airport, Seattle, Washington State, USA
With only two hours notice of what was happening at Seattle International airport in relation to the Trump executive order banning arrivals from 7 Muslim nations, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee delivered this searing news conference.
The manifest and unjustifiable chaos and cruelty caused by President Trump's executive order is now on full display here at Sea-Tac airport.
The illegality and unconstitutionality and the religious discrimination of his executive order is now on full display at Seattle International airport.
And the gross incompetence and ineffectiveness of this action, without notice, to local officials whose job it is to run airports, is on full display here at Sea-Tac airport.
First I'm going to address the gross cruelty of this.
These are people who have left war-torn regions, chaos, mass poverty, many of whom have relatives here who are citizens of the United States, who have crossed the abyss from disaster to hope, who are ready and landed in the home and land of the brave, who are allowed to get on airplanes to cross the oceans, to a life of hope, who are now torn apart from their relatives who are waiting at the end of the gate?
What type of inhumane attitude allows that to happen in this nation?
That is what is going on.
We have a family here today who I've just met, a citizen of the United States, the Donald Trump administration allowed her husband to get on a plane in Vienna, waiting to get in the arms of his wife, but didn’t let him go the six feet across this gate to embrace his wife.
What type of cruel action based on demogoguery and fear does that to people, to anybody? I won't stand.
Secondly this is an grossly unconstitutional and highly probably illegal act. It is religious discrimination in its barest and most obvious form. Not only did it target just Muslim countries, it is clearly religiously discriminatory, when the President himself said, 'we're going to say, Muslims are at the bottom of the barrel, and other religions are at the top.'
We have never done this, in over two centuries of American history, and it is on display here at Sea-Tac.
We're drawing the line right here at Sea-Tac. And I hope people will do it at airports across the country.
Listen I've seen this movie.
When I got a call two hours ago, about what was going on in our airport, I thought about the history of Baybridge Island, I live on Bainbridge Island. Seventy five years ago we saw this movie again. Where because of fear, the American government issued another executive order, in February 1942. And rounded up American citizens who were of Japanese-American ancestry - because of fear, and only fear, and sent them to camps, for years.
I know from Bainbridge Island what fear can do, and I know Americans must stand up against this today across America.
The third point I want to make, this is probably the most incompetent, ineffective, unconsciously provocatiive and dangerous action of any government I have ever seen. To drop this on Sea-Tac airport, with no notice of how to handle this, I gotta tell you, these people couldn't run a two car funeral. And it's very disappointing to see our federal government create chaos in our nation.
And I'll let you know these aren't just refugees, these are business people who now might be in the high tech sector they might be in an IT position, they can't leave the country right now in case they can't get back in. Even though they're legally here in this country.
This is damaging to the economy in my State! And it is unacceptable.
So I called the White House about an hour ago, I talked to Justin Clarke who is the # of Inter-Governmental affairs, who was the highest ranking person that I could reach, and I expressed my profound disappointment and hope that he would reinstate just a little bit of humanity and common sense in this country, and allow these people who are in transit, to cross the oceans and let them finish the last six feet when we told them they could come into this country. I asked him to pass my thoughts along, and hope it would reach the chief of staff, that has not happened yet.
I have also talked to the Attorney General's office. The Attorney General is now examining what options we have. It is difficult though, because frankly the judiicial system is being held hostage here too!