Christie Backs Travel Ban, Says Airports Must Enforce Trump Order
Governor lambastes Democratic-controlled Legislature for bill that would allow Port Authority employees to sidestep ban
Praising President Donald Trump's travel ban as an effective public safety measure, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have prohibited airport employees from enforcing restrictions on certain travelers from Muslim majority nations seeking to enter the United States.
The bill approved by the Democratic-controlled legislature would have forbid employees of the Port Authority — which operates Newark Liberty, JFK, and LaGuardia airports — from providing "aid, resources, assistance, or support to any federal employee" enforcing the Trump travel ban. In order to become law, a similar measure would have had to be signed into law in New York, which joinly runs the Port Authority with New Jersey.
Pending a final Supreme Court ruling later this year, a modified version of the travel ban is in effect — travelers must have a "bona fide" connection to the U.S. if they come from one of the six affected countries.
Christie excoriated the legislature for the proposal, saying that instead of passing reforms at the troubled agency Democrats "elected to waste the time and resources of the state's taxpayers on a political stunt that represents an abject disregard of its inherent duty to govern responsibility."
He questioned the constitutionality of the measure, in that it may have forced airport workers to choose between complying with federal and local law.
And the governor expressed support for the Trump executive order that brought about the travel ban, saying it "contains multiple directives to improve national security and increase public safety by minimizing the opportunities for would-be terrorists to exploit existing loopholes in federal immigration laws in order to commit terrorist attacks from within the United States."