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What You Need To Know About President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders On Immigration, Border, and Refugees

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Click here for a statement from Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, reacting to the array of extreme immigration, border, and refugee-focused executive orders set to be announced by President Trump today and tomorrow.

Click here for a call with leaders from AVEF, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Women’s Refugee Commission, National Immigration Law Center, South Asian Americans Leading Together, Southern Border Communities Coalition, and United We Dream on President Trump’s forthcoming orders.

The following are thoughts on President Trump’s immigration, border, and refugee-focused executive orders:

Trump is building up his Deportation Force and declaring open season on immigrants. In the process he is taking a sledgehammer to the Statue of Liberty.

  • Welcoming immigrants who come to America to make a better life for their families is a defining feature of America’s past, present and future. Rescuing refugees who are fleeing persecution and violence is fundamental to American identity. These foundational aspects of who we are have helped America become more dynamic, diverse and prosperous. However, the kinds of measures being announced by Trump today are in direct conflict with what we hold dear as a nation. 
  • Trump ran as the most anti-immigrant candidate in modern American history, and now he is following through on his radical agenda. He has surrounded himself with hardliners such as Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and together they seem intent on turning America’s back on those who come here for freedom and opportunity. In doing so, they are turning our backs on our core values as a nation and turbocharging a Deportation Force aimed at threatening millions of hardworking immigrant families. 
  • We will not turn our backs on our nation’s finest ideals nor our people – Americans in all but paperwork. Our first responsibility is to protect the rights and defend the existence of each and every one of us in America, regardless of immigration status, race, creed, color, or country of origin. That is why we stand up today — with refugees and immigrants, and against this declaration of open season on immigrant and Latino communities.

Trump’s approach won’t work and will have negative consequences. His policies undermine public safety, damage our national security and isolate us in the world.

  • Many cities and communities have adopted common sense policies that put public safety first. These limitations on cooperation with the often out-of-control ICE and CPB enforcement agents are designed to make sure every person in these communities, regardless of immigration status, feels it is safe to reports crimes, serve as witnesses and work with our police to take serious criminals of our streets. These communities are telling Trump that local law enforcement officers will keep their focus on keeping our neighborhoods safe, not executing roundups of hardworking immigrants. 
  • Many communities are simply not interested in serving as collaborators with Trump’s Deportation Force. These policies don’t provide “sanctuary” to criminals, they provide public safety for all. Moreover, driving those who come to our country to seek a better life into the black market of illegal entry, rather allowing them to apply for asylum or other forms of protection, or efficiently legalizing longstanding members of our communities and effectively regulating immigration, will not enable us to know who is living in our communities. 
  • Doing serious damage to America’s reputation as a beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution and violence will not help us win the battle of ideas in the world. Trump’s unprecedented attack on our tradition as a nation of immigrants comes with consequences that will hurt our economy, our safety and our reputation in the world.

Trump’s hardline immigration policies are even less popular than him.

  • The bottom line is this: Americans support immigrants and refugees, and support balanced policies that admit and integrate newcomers into American society. And they support pro-immigrant, pro-refugee policies more than they support Trump. His agenda seems calculated to politically pander to his nativist base, not devise workable solutions that uphold our core values.

The right approach: live up to our tradition as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.

  • Instead of building walls, slamming the door on refugees, attacking smart public safety strategies, and threatening to send deportation agents to our workplaces, schools, hospitals, courthouses and neighborhoods, we need common sense reforms that deal efficiently, effectively and compassionately with our nation’s immigration challenges. Unfortunately, Washington has proven that it is incapable or unwilling to truly solve the problem. 
  • Now Trump is making a bad situation much worse. We can no longer stand by and suffer the consequences of flawed policies and draconian measures. So we will do everything we can to protect all of our people, and continue working to find an effective, long-term solution that delivers fairness and opportunity for every member of our community.
  • We are a nation that believes in welcoming immigrants and refugees in a way that makes our nation stronger. We are a nation that believes in due process and equal treatment under the law. Trump’s approach does violence to both.