Credo Action

Cities must stand with immigrants and refugees

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The petition to mayors reads:

"Take a public stand against Donald Trump’s xenophobic agenda. Do everything in your power to ensure that our city implements policies and practices that protect immigrants and refugees from harassment, detention and deportation by ICE, the Border Patrol or other government agencies."

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    Cities must stand with immigrants and refugees

    Donald Trump spent his first week in office targeting immigrants, refugees and Muslims and strengthening his deportation force. This weekend, federal officials detained hundreds of immigrants and refugees at airports across the country.

    Thousands of people took to the streets and flooded airports in outrage. Their signs and chants made clear why people had come out and come together: to fiercely resist Trump’s racism, xenophobia and hate and put officials in our communities on notice that we expect them to reject Trump’s dangerous agenda and stand with the communities he threatens.

    It’s clear that Trump is doing everything he can to make his nightmare campaign promises a reality. While the focus over the weekend was on Trump’s Muslim ban, last week’s executive orders also expand his deportation force, attack undocumented immigrants and threaten sanctuary cities. Trump promised to deport 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants in his first 100 days in office. We have to stand with immigrants in our communities now and demand that mayors enforce practices and policies to protect them. Tell mayors to stand their ground and protect immigrants and refugees before it’s too late.

    Tell mayors: Publicly reject Trump’s xenophobic agenda and do everything in your power to protect immigrants and refugees.

    Dozens of sanctuary cities, counties and states have policies in place that make it more difficult for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to identify and deport undocumented immigrants: from prohibiting municipal employees from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status, to banning the use of city resources, programs and funding to aid federal immigration officers.1

    Mayors should make sure their cities are ready to protect immigrants and refugees, and refuse to comply with Trump’s racist, unconstitutional and illegal anti-immigrant executive orders. They include:

    • Criminalizing people who protect undocumented families. U.S. citizens who conceal, harbor or shield an undocumented immigrant could face misdemeanor charges, pay a fine and possibly serve jail time.2
    • Defunding “sanctuary cities” that refuse to aid in federal immigration enforcement efforts.3 This is an unconstitutional scare tactic meant to keep cities from standing up for immigrants and refugees.
    • Building a border wall, expanding detention facilities and adding 5,000 more Border Patrol agents to his deportation army.4 Trump’s executive order would cost American taxpayers billions of dollars and puts the lives of asylum seekers at risk in overrun detention centers where human rights abuses are rampant.
    • Arresting and detaining green card and visa holders. Before a federal judge issued a stay, federal officials had the power to bar permanent residents and people with legal visas from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.5 The stay protects permanent residents, but people with visas, including students, will continue to be blocked from entering the country and the Department of Homeland Security still has the power to revoke green cards in bulk.6
    • Illegally discriminating against immigrants based on their country of origin. The Immigration and Nationality Act outlaws discrimination of immigrants on the basis of national origin.7

    Trump and his right-wing administration are treating immigrants and refugees like criminals. Mayors have the power to slow down and obstruct Trump’s hateful regime. Urge mayors to do everything in their power to protect immigrants and refugees.

    Tell mayors: Publicly reject Trump’s xenophobic agenda and do everything in your power to protect immigrants and refugees.

    It’s important to remember that Trump’s racist and unconstitutional executive order targets Muslim immigrants from countries where violent conflicts, human rights abuses and long-term unemployment are the norm: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.8 Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced by war, climate change and corporate greed every year. Every person, no matter their religion, has the right to seek refuge from conflict, live free from persecution and strive for better economic opportunities for their family. Our country was founded on these core principles, and we must not abandon them now.

    Trump’s executive order to withdraw federal grants from sanctuary cities hasn’t stopped mayors in current sanctuary cities like San Francisco, Seattle and New York from reaffirming their commitment to remain cities of refuge and hope for all immigrants. In fact, the California state legislature already hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to protect California’s sanctuary cities and the state from Trump’s anti-immigrant right-wing administration.9

    Cities are the first line of defense against Trump’s agenda of deportation, criminalization and hatred. Tell mayors that you’re counting on them to resist and block Trump’s anti-immigrant regime every step of the way.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References

    1. Tal Kopan, “What are sanctuary cities, and can they be defunded?,” CNN, Jan. 25, 2017.

    2. Jorge Cancino, “Helping undocumented immigrants now a crime under Trump,” Univision, Jan. 27, 2017.

    3. Ilya Somin, “Why Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities is unconstitutional,” The Washington Post, Jan. 26, 2017.

    4. Brian Bennett and Noah Bierman, “Trump orders moves on border wall and ‘sanctuary cities’ and is considering a refugee ban,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 25, 2017.

    5. Ben Dreyfuss, “A Federal Judge Just Issued a Stay Against Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban,” Mother Jones, Jan. 28, 2017.

    6. Alexandra Jaffe, “Priebus: Immigration Order ‘Doesn’t Include’ Green Card Holders, But Anyone Traveling to Banned Countries Will Be ‘Subjected to Further Screening,'” NBC News, Jan. 29, 2017.

    7. David Bier, “Trump’s immigration ban is illegal,” The New York Times, Jan. 27, 2017.

    8. Angela Dewan and Emily Smith, “What it’s like in the 7 countries on Trump’s travel ban list,” CNN, Jan. 30, 2017.

    9. Liz Robbins, “Sanctuary City Mayors Vow to Defy Trump’s Immigration Order,” The New York Times, Jan. 25, 2017.