Stand up for immigrants and refugees in our Utah communities

Trump’s “Muslim Ban 2.0” is still anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-Muslim and many would say un-American

On March 6th, Trump introduced a revised executive order that bans immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries (Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iran and Yemen), this time sparing Iraq at the request of Defense Secretary James Mattis due to difficulties a ban there would pose on military coordination in defeating the Islamic State. The revised order made other cosmetic changes from the original January 27th version by reducing the ban on Syrian immigrants from indefinite to 120 days pending renewal and by removing language that favored immigrants from minority (non-Muslim) religions.

As the NY Times explains, “But the heart of the sweeping executive action is still intact, reflecting Mr. Trump’s “America first” pledge to safeguard against what he has portrayed as a hidden influx of terrorists and criminals — a hard-line campaign promise that resonated deeply with white working-class voters.”

Behind the revised executive order stands blatant anti-Muslim hatred evident in the language of several Trump campaign sponsors and supporters, members of the Trump campaign and administration and even Trump himself, which has fanned the flames of anti-immigrant rhetoric around the country and caused a spike in racial and prejudicial hate crimes. The SPLC, which tracks hate crimes, reported a shocking 1,094 bias-related incidents in the month following the election. The group published a report showing an unprecedented spike in Islamophobia over the past year that has caused anti-Muslim hate groups to triple since the rise of Trump.

Utah is not exempt from hate crimes or racism, whether conscious or unconscious. Just last week an op-ed ran in the Salt Lake Tribune entitled, “Woman tries to kill immigrant’s dog. What has happened to us?” In Utah, as in every state in our nation built of, by and for immigrants, it is up to ordinary people to stand with immigrants.

That can mean many things beyond calling our Members of Congress to oppose the Muslim Ban and Trump’s wall, such as:

  • Meeting immigrants and learning about their culture, history and heritage
  • Defending immigrants and refugees from verbal and physical attacks
  • Supporting organizations that help refugees and immigrants
  • Calling on our institutions to protect and inform immigrants and refugees

We have already called on you to contact Governor Herbert and your local sheriff to protect immigrants amd we have asked you to be an ally, to support and spread the word about sanctuary restaurants, to support local and national groups helping refugees and to call on Rep. Chris Stewart NOT to fund Trump’s Wall. Today we bring you more ideas about how you can stand up for immigrants in our own communities.

CALL TO ACTION

  • Call on your local school board in your school district to protect immigrants. As this March 9 Salt Lake Tribune editorial states, “If, on the other hand, students and their families have to worry that the school day is when ICE agents will come for the children in their classrooms, or for their parents, grandparents and older siblings back home, their ability to learn is seriously damaged.” ICE agents have gone into churches and courthouses to deport immigrants. Though they have not yet entered schools, immigrant rights groups report that children are too scared to go to school for fear of being deported. The Immigrant Legal Resources Center (ILRC) encourages schools to play a critical role in ensuring immigrant families have access to important information and resources. Here’s how to advocate that your school district play this critical role (from Wall-of-Us):

* Remember that you do not need to have a child in your school district to advocate that your district stand with our immigrants. Members of the school board are (generally, but not always) elected positions.

  1. Locate and review your local school district’s website. Does it include “know your rights” information for our immigrant families? Is it easy to find? Is it written in English and Spanish? Does it include information about a sanctuary or safe haven resolution similar to the Los Angeles Unified School District one here? (5 minutes)
  2. Review this resource that the ILRC has put together for school districts. (3 minutes)
  3. Call or email your school district and use this script, which refers to resources for your school district. (5-10 minutes)
  • Sign petitions, such as this Mom’s Rising petition to Trump and the Department of Homeland Security not to separate children from their mothers at the southern border, this coalition petition to reject Trump’s anti-immigration executive order, and this CREDO petition to Congress to pass the Access to Legal Counsel Act so immigrants can have legal counsel too, all posted on our Petitions, Petitions! page (updated daily).
  • Donate to one of these local fundraisers: Support undocumented students in our communities by giving to the SOMOS Dreamers at the University of Utah. This fundraiser (coordinated by Utahns Speak Out) benefits their annual #HERETOSTAY Gala on April 21 by sponsoring deserving students and their families to attend the event. Utahns Speak Out is also collecting donations here with the Utah Refugee Connection for Mother’s Day gifts for refugee women. For more ideas of deserving local and national immigrant and refugee organizations in need of donations, click here.
  • Go to a cultural, immigrant or refugee event, such as the South Sudanese Cultural Night hosted by the Utah Refugee Connection on Monday, April 10, 6:30-8p in Salt Lake City.

 

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