Following through on his hateful campaign threat to introduce “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," on Friday, Trump issued one of 17 executive orders, entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” The order places a hold on the U.S. refugee program and restricts travel from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It also states that if refugees are being let into the country, Christians will be prioritized over Muslims.
Not only is this a blatant Islamophobic attack on people trying to enter the country for the first time or seeking refuge from war-torn countries, the ban has also affected green card holders returning to the US. That’s right: legal, permanent residents will face not only additional security checks upon re-entering the country, they may be turned away or refused to board planes to the US if they’re nationals of any of the 7 targeted countries.
375 travelers have been affected by the order, 109 of whom were denied entry to the United States, with 173 being stopped by airlines before boarding.
The backlash to the ban was swift and awe-inspiring. Thousands of protesters began to show up at airports where travelers were being detained, lawyers offered free legal advice to detainees, #NoBanNoWall began trending, and protests were planned in major cities for the following day.
via @NYCMayorsOffice on Twitter
via @katz on Twitter
The New York City Taxi Worker’s Alliance announced a one-hour strike against the ban at JFK, stating,“By sanctioning bigotry with his unconstitutional and inhumane executive order banning Muslim refugees from seven countries, the president is putting professional drivers in more danger than they have been in any time since 9/11 when hate crimes against immigrants skyrocketed."
via @FBEsposito on Twitter
The ACLU quickly brought a lawsuit against the order on behalf of two men being detained at JFK airport in New York, and a federal judge in Brooklyn issued an emergency, nationwide stay of the order on Saturday evening. The stay protects visa holders and refugees in transit or being detained at airports since the ban was issued.
via @rayajalabi on Twitter
However, the stay is only temporary, and this order is surely only one in a long list of the hateful and dangerous policies Trump is implementing.
Here are 9 ways you can help and support immigrant and Muslim communities, and resisting the #MuslimBan.
1. Arm yourself with information
It’s incredibly important to know what we’re up against, and while the barrage of terrifying developments each day is hard to handle, it’s important we don’t let it confuse or overwhelm us. Stay informed on what’s happening, be aware of what’s at stake, and read up on the most effective ways to resist.
2. Contact your representatives and hold them accountable
Trump has shut down the President’s comments line for the moment, but you can still contact the White House via email. More importantly, contact your senators via phone, or use this handy tool designed by the Make The Road NY to Tweet or contact them on Facebook. FiveThirtyEight are also tracking which members of Congress vote with Trump most often, keep track of your representatives' record here, and let them know you’ll be watching closely. Sign up for 5 Calls, which has made calling your rep as easy as possible, providing scripts for what to say, and using your location to source your closest government representative.
3. Donate to organizations actively fighting the ban
The indispensable ACLU received $24 million in donations this weekend, over six times its usual annual total in online donations, after their successful challenge in court against Trump. Other organizations that are continuously fighting for Muslim, refugee and Immigrant rights in the US are: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Make The Road NY, Families For Freedom, Desis Rising Up and Moving, and the Arab American Association of NY (AAANY) — led by the amazing Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington.
If you’re not in a position to give money, consider donating your time to these organizations instead.CAIR,IRC and the ACLU have chapters in various areas of the US so you can find your local chapter and apply to volunteer with these crucial causes. Search for organizations in your local community too, as they’ll be needing all hands on deck in the coming months.
5. Sign petitions
Don’t dismiss them as "clicktivism" or "slacktivism"; while they absolutely should be followed up by other, more concrete actions, petitions are an effective way of demonstrating how much support there is for a cause, and they only take a minute of your time. Add your name to these petitions opposing the ban, urging Trump to rescind the executive order, and demanding your mayor to declare your city a sanctuary city,
6. Check in on your friends on the front lines
Hold space for those most impacted by this horrific ban and ensuing Islamophobic attacks, and let them know you’re with them. As Linda Sarsour said in a recent Facebook post:
“This work ain't easy. Thank an organizer, an activist, an attorney, a directly impacted person on the front lines, a journalist reporting the facts regardless of the consequences. This work takes a toll on people's lives, at the expense of their children, families, livelihoods. This work under this type of administration isn't just dissent, it's dangerous.
Words of encouragement for these people mean a lot. Reach out to volunteer, donate to their organizations or funds, send them food, ask to check in on their kids and families, ask them if they are safe. We are all we got.
Feeling grateful for all the heroes out here - the sung and the unsung. Never forget that many who are doing some of the most important and vital work are behind the scenes. We see you.”
Trump’s policies intend to sow division. Combat that by strengthening your community.
7. Show up to rallies and protests
Scenes of the millions of people marching on Washington and around the world for the Women’s March, along with the huge number of protesters who showed up to airports around the country at the drop of a hat have been incredibly heartening And we’ve got to continue the momentum. Go to rallies, marches, protests, and vigils, and take every opportunity to show your support for Muslim, refugee and immigrant communities in your area. Not only are you actively voicing your support for the resistance, protests and rallies are also a great way to stay motivated — marching with a group of strangers who hold the same values as you is inspiring. Reading the constant stream of bad news can make you feel powerless, but rallies demonstrate our collective power in the fight against fascism.
8. As allies, speak out against injustice
The time for keeping your mouth shut when you encounter racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia is long over; we’ve seen the proof that hateful words quickly become hateful actions. Speaking up and countering prejudice, when it is safe for you to do so, is your responsibility as an ally. Call out your friends and family for their racist words and behaviors, and learn how to be an effective bystander in public.
9. Stay outraged
Don’t let these things become normalized. Nothing about this is normal. Keep track of your observations, and take note as things begin to change around you. The most powerful man in this country is a known liar and gaslighter, and he will continue to rewrite history and twist his words and actions. Take care of yourself, but stay informed, stay active, and stay angry.
Top Photo: Instagram/@aclu_nationwide
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