As you may have heard, President Trump signed an executive order banning refugees fleeing Syria from entering the US indefinitely. It also prevents migrants and U.S. legal residents traveling from one of 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The UN estimates that 20,000 refugees have been frozen out by the order.
If you watched Fox News this morning, you may have heard that Muslims actually support this ban! But if you listened to any of the hundreds of thousands of protestors over the weekend, you may have heard that this is un-American, unacceptable, and, as it happens, illegal.
If you can manage to get past the fact that a ban of this magnitude is a threat to our nation’s national security, economic dynamism, and core values, there’s still the fact that experts say it will do nothing to prevent terrorism. This might have something to do with the fact that none of the 7 countries under Trump’s ban have been tied to terrorist attacks in the United States.
Luckily for us, there is crazy momentum right now in the fight against this order.
First of all, the ACLU won the case it brought to federal courts, along with International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, the National Immigration Law Center, Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, and the firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. This victory prevented those refugees and immigrants that were being detained from being deported.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a lawsuit against Trump, John Kelly, the State Department, and the director of national intelligence for violating the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections.
There was an outpouring of on-the-ground opposition as protestors flooded airports across the country, and immigration lawyers volunteered their time. It was a seriously awe-inspiring display of the power of the people. Even more moving, these demonstrations were demanding inclusivity, acceptance, and support.
Democrats have introduced a bill to repeal the executive order. Chuck Schumer has said that if Republicans oppose to the legislation, Democrats will delay the confirmation of Secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson, until he publicly opposes the Muslim ban. If Republicans oppose this request to delay, Schumer has said he will vote no on Tillerson’s nomination.
Even the State Department has drafted a Dissent Channel memo to express their concern over the effect the executive order could have on relations with the Muslim world.
Here’s how we can all keep this resistance strong:
- Check out this running list of airports and public spaces where protests are being held, or this one.
- If you can find one near you, consider bringing provisions. A lot of protests are getting so big that vendors are running out of food and water, so bring some sustenance for your fellow protestors.
- Support businesses that support refugees. You know you’re going to buy these things anyway, so why not give your money to a company whose values align with your own?
- Skip your usual commute and ride-share instead–Since Uber’s attempt to undermine protests going on at JFK airport in NY, people have been all about #DeleteUber. Lyft has pledged to donate $1,000,000 to the ACLU over the next four years and Team Via is offering free legal counseling to all drivers and riders who are affected, as well as creating a fund to support their drivers who are facing legal expenses related to the ban. But, if you’re willing to forgive Uber, it has recently announced that it is planning on paying its workers who have left the country and are being denied entry back in.
- Make it a Grande—I know Starbucks is probably double the price of other coffee chains, but Starbucks CEO has announced that the company plans to hire 10,000 refugees in the next five years.
- Take a vacation—Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone else who was barred from boarding a US-bound flight.
- Forget Fage—The founder of Chobani, an immigrant himself, has dedicated himself to hiring refugees and immigrants.
- Consider donating to the ACLU, or any of the other organizations leading the legal fight against this travel ban.
- Or donate to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a “civil rights advocacy organization that works to resolve instances of anti-Muslim discrimination through mediation, negotiation, public pressure, and legal action.”
- Hollywood is chipping in too—Sia and Chris Sacca are matching donations to the ACLU up to $100,000 and $75,000, respectively, and Grimes is matching donations to CAIR up to $10,000.
- Sign this petition rejecting Trump’s Muslim ban.
- Consider supporting any of these organizations:
- Oppose Jeff Sessions, nominee for AG who was reportedly involved in drafting this legislation. His vote is scheduled for tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. so time is of the essence!
- As always, call your senators!