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Families, Refugees, Religious Freedom, American Values All On the Line
Donald Trump has begun to make sweeping changes to immigration and refugee policy that would build both a literal and figurative wall around America.
According to Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice: “Trump’s physical wall has gotten much of the public attention so far. But the other components of Trump’plans–the tripling of agents to build out his mass Deportation Force; the declaration of open season on all undocumented immigrants; and the rumored upcoming restrictions on legal entry by refugees and Muslims are even more insidious. They threaten to complete undermine our values as a nation.
“It hasn’t even been a week since he took the oath of office, yet Donald Trump is acting like a King in his tower signing edict after edict that shake the very foundation of our country. He’s signing papers that say the United States will turn its back on refugees fleeing for their lives; banish people simply because of their faith; and tear hardworking moms and dads away from their children. He has no idea–or simply doesn’t care–how many lives he destroys in the process.”
On Medium, Cleveland attorney David Leopold analyses Trump’s new “deportation priorities,” concluding: “Trump is trying to cloak his Executive Order in the superficial trappings of a policy aimed at deporting ‘criminals.’ But that is what Obama’s policies did. The technical language of Trump’s Order goes far beyond any common sense definition of a dangerous criminal. Unsurprisingly, Trump is lying.”
Trump is also stacking his Administration with people who have made harming immigrants and maximizing deportations their career goals–people like Alabama Senator and U.S. Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.
Recently, Leopold authored another Medium piece, “Five Chilling Ways Jeff Sessions Could Attack Immigrants as Attorney General.” With Sessions’ invisible hand all over the Trump immigration orders, the ACLU is demanding that he come before the Senate Judiciary Committee again to answer questions about his role in Trump’s policy decisions, despite not yet being confirmed.
Faith in Public Life and Ohio clery of diverse faiths delivered a declaration of moral resistance from 100 leaders to Senator Rob Portman’s offices in Cleveland and Columbus today. The leaders are calling on Senator Portman to vote against confirming Sessions for U.S. Attorney General. The declaration reads, in part:
[Senator Sessions’] positions, record and rhetoric reveal him to be a threat to the freedoms we hold dear, not a defender of them. He has subjected civil rights workers to unjust prosecution. He has sat idly by as the Supreme Court and then politicians across the country dismantled voting rights and intentionally erected numerous and varied barriers to voting. He has been one of Congress’s most stalwart opponents to common-sense, compassionate reform of our unjust immigration laws. He has legitimized demagogues who demonize Muslims, even receiving an award from a group that exists to manufacture conspiracy theories against Islam. In sum, Senator Sessions perpetuates systemic racism and casts his lot with those who foment bigotry. Confirming him as Attorney General would ensure that the worst of America’s past will chart America’s future.
“The people at the heart of Trump and Sessions’ anti-immigrant policies have names and families. They work hard and they contribute to this country in many ways,” said Tramonte. “Most Americans do not want to see their lives destroyed.”