President Donald Trump’s executive order barring all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries for three months has led to chaos, protests at airports across the country and prompted swift condemnation.
A federal judge in NYC has granted an emergency stay to allow people who have landed in the country with valid visas to remain in the country.
The American Civil Liberties Union, along with several organizations, had filed a lawsuit challenging Trump’s order on behalf of two Iraqi men who were headed to the U.S. on immigrant visas when the president issued the executive order. The president said the measures were designed to deter terrorism and disputed the characterization of the order as a ban on Muslims.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the country would take in refugees rejected by Trump.
State Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American lawmaker in the country, is organizing a session Sunday, Jan. 29, 3-5 p.m., at 504 Cedar Ave. S. to discuss strategies to resist the travel ban targeting Muslims. “We will also begin to assemble resources to build safety toolkits to protect our Muslim families and neighbors. All are welcome to attend,” events organizers wrote.
A protest against the Muslim ban is also planned for Tuesday, 4:30-6 p.m., at the U.S. Courthouse, 300 S. 4th St.
Omar is also urging anyone who knows someone impacted by the travel ban who been turned away from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport or the state’s border with Canada, to contact her. “We have attorneys on standby willing to do whatever they can to help,” she posted.
Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), said the organization will challenge the order and others likely to come targeting Muslims in a statement issued after Trump signed the order Jan. 28.
The order bans travelers from the Muslim-majority countries Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.
“This is the first step in a Trump-era agenda that criminalizes faith, nationality, and people of color. It flies in the face of the American values we hold dear,” Hussein wrote. “We must remember, that the United States Constitution expressly protects individuals from persecution perpetrated by their own government. This includes bigotry based on faith, on nation of origin, and skin color.”
The organization is working with other civil rights group to fight the ban. CAIR is also planning an event, “1,000 who CAIR, a Call to Action: Challenging Islamophobia/Defending Civil Rights,” on Saturday, March 25 at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul.
The event will kick-off a campaign to “activate 10,000 Minnesotans in the fight against bigotry and hatred,” according to organizers. Speakers lined up include noted Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed, Khizr Khan, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Nekima Levy-Pounds, a civil rights lawyer and Minneapolis mayoral candidate, among many others.
Congressman Keith Ellison, the country’s first Muslim congressman, also blasted Trump’s order and pledged to fight it. In a Facebook post he wrote:
Minnesotans know that our country is at its best when our policies reflect our values of generosity and inclusion. We’ve opened our doors to immigrants and refugees from around the world, including Somalia and Sudan, and our community is better for it. They’re are our teachers, our doctors, and our small business owners. They’re our friends and neighbors. …
We can resist this radical agenda. But we have to stand together. As progressives. As immigrants. As neighbors. As Americans.
Today my spirit is with the Somali, Sudanese, and other immigrant communities in my district. I share their grief. Thousands of Americans have relatives and friends in the countries Trump has blacklisted, and I share in their anguish as well.
To everyone afraid of what this executive order will mean for you and your country, I say: “You are not alone. We are with you. And we will fight for you.”