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Speak Out for Immigrant and Refugee Rights!

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Author: Emma Buckhout

*Updated January 27, 2017

On January 25th, less than a week into his presidency, President Trump began enacting his anti-immigrant and refugee agenda in full force by signing two executive orders. These orders direct funds for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, increase detention of immigrants and possible asylum seekers at our border, aggressively expand interior enforcement within the United States, and end federal funding for sanctuary cities. On January 27th, he is expected to sign another order grounding U.S. refugee resettlement to a halt and denying protection to some of the most vulnerable individuals and families around the globe.

These actions threaten the basic civil and human rights of our communities as well as individuals and families seeking refuge at our borders. They undermine our fundamental American values of welcoming the immigrants and refugees who truly make our nation great. We reject language that criminalizes immigrants and pushes them out without considering their rights, no matter their status, and our government should too!

President Trump has failed to mention that in our own backyard, hundreds of thousands of children, women, and men are being forced to flee their homes due to horrific levels of violence, corruption, impunity, and poverty in the  Northern Triangle countries of Central America—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. As they search for protection, walls and border enforcement are NOT the answer. We have already denounced actions by our government to detain and turn away asylum seekers at our border. Today’s actions will put in place the framework to send even more people back to danger they fled.

To accomplish these goals, the president promised to triple Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and add an additional 5,000 Border Patrol agents for Customs and Border Patrol, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency. Hiring more agents is not only a budgetary concern, but also alarming because CBP lacks overall accountability and regularly abuses use of force against migrants. These measures have been proven ineffective and costly in the past and are contradictory.

The executive orders President Trump signed are contradictory to keeping our country safe. Threatening to punish sanctuary cities undermines community-law enforcement relations and our right to create communities that reflect our fundamental values.

Furthermore, we know refugees are the most thoroughly vetted immigrants in the United States, undergoing biographic and biometric checks, medical screenings, forensic document testing, and in-person interviews. And resettlement in the United States may mean the difference between life and death for them.
 
These executive orders threaten human rights and go against our American values—Together we must SPEAK OUT to denounce these actions and stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. Please see the following actions and share with friends!
 
1. Tweet @realDonaldTrump & @POTUS
 
.@realDonaldTrump @POTUS immigrants and refugees make America great #NoBanNoWall #AmericaWelcomes

.@realDonaldTrump @POTUS a great America protects children & families fleeing violence http://lawg.org/NTCA2016 #NoBanNoWall

.@realDonaldTrump @POTUS sanctuary city policies build trust, make communities safer #Sanctuary #AmericaWelcomes

.@realDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse Refugee resettlement is a proud American legacy with bipartisan support #RefugeesWelcome #NoBanNoWall

2. Share on Facebook:
I stand with immigrants and refugees who make America great! #NoBanNoWall #AmericaWelcomes

3. Contact the White House:

– via Facebook
– on the White House website
– by phone: (866) 961-4293

Sample message: President Trump, I am deeply concerned by your actions to increase militarized border and immigration enforcement, stop individuals and families arriving at our border in search of protection, end federal funding for sanctuary cities, and halt refugee resettlement. I STRONGLY oppose. I urge you to use your leadership to uphold our American values of welcoming immigrants and refugees seeking safety and freedom.

4. Call your members of Congress and demand they stand up for immigrant and refugee rights as well!
Call (202) 224-3121. Please call this line 3 times to be connected with your 1 Representative and 2 Senators.

Sample script: “Hi, I’m your constituent from [City, State]. I strongly oppose President’s Trump’s orders to build a border wall, increase militarized border and immigration enforcement, stop individuals and families arriving at our border in search of protection, end federal funding for sanctuary cities, and halt refugee resettlement. These policies undermine our fundamental American values of welcoming the immigrants and refugees who truly make our nation great. They also undermine the sanctuary city policies that increase public safety by building trust between local law enforcement and all community members. I urge you to do everything in your power to see these announcements reversed, and to stand in solidarity with our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters.

Thanks for all that you do!