Cory Booker, the junior senator from New Jersey and a rising star in the Democratic Party, will give the address at Penn's 2017 Commencement ceremony.
The announcement comes a day after Penn President Amy Gutmann broke her silence on Donald Trump, denouncing his new immigration policy in a speech on College Green. The policy, which was announced last week in an executive order, temporarily bans immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries and halts the flow of refugees into the United States.
Gutmann pledged that Penn will “do everything in our power, speak to every friend and ally, and leave no stone unturned in our efforts to urge President Trump to change course and rectify the horrible damage this Order has caused."
The choice of Booker, a vocal critic of Trump's ban, falls in line with Penn's evident distaste for hard-line immigration policy.
“Senator Booker is a passionate advocate and defender of our nation’s most important democratic ideals," Gutmann said in a statement. "During his four-year service in the Senate he has repeatedly reached across the aisle and been a leader on issues such as criminal justice reform, providing support and resources for local law enforcement, comprehensive immigration reform, and fostering economic opportunity."
Booker has attacked the Trump administration's actions, even participating in protests against the immigration ban.
"A week in office and we have seen the President of the United States and his officials repeatedly lying to the American public and pushing out what could be called — what we've seen in other regimes throughout history — what can be called propaganda to mislead the public," Booker told CNN.
Booker also drew attention when he testified against U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump's nominee for attorney general — marking the first time a sitting senator had testified against a fellow senator's nomination to a cabinet post.
Booker is widely seen as a contender for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election.
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