LGBT Orgs. Condemn Trump’s Inhumane and Un-American Immigration Ban, Reactions

Legalize DiscriminationDonald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona (earlier in 2016).
Photo: Gage Skidmore

By: Chris Gilmore/TRT Reporter—

LGBT Rights Organizations are in fierce opposition to an executive order,“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” signed Friday by President Trump. The order bans immigration from seven primarily Muslim nations and indefinitely blocks Syrian refugees from seeking asylum, according to the Advocate.

“We don’t want them here,” Mr. Trump said during the order’s signing, reports The New York Times. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people.”

The order imposed a 90-day suspension of travel from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Trump, who maintained that the action was to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” also imposed a religious test that, in the future, would favor Christian immigrants over Muslims.

According to Vox.com, ProPublica estimated, based on statistics about who’d received green cards over the last 10 years, “that 500,000 legal permanent residents of the United States might be banned from re-entering the country if they left, or if they’re currently abroad.”

The Advocate reported that the move “followed a Wednesday executive order that began plans for a wall to be built on the Mexican border … ” Last week Trump also focused his efforts on curbing women contraceptive rights, advancing the construction of Dakota Access Pipeline (Standing Rock), and making the U.S. leave behind its participation on TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement),  among others.

“President Trump’s attacks on immigrants and refugees are a direct assault on America’s most fundamental values,” said HRC President Chad Griffin via a statement. “Donald Trump’s unjust and unconscionable executive orders make life more dangerous for countless LGBTQ people, and could equal a death sentence for those trying to escape violence and persecution from places such as Syria. No wall, no matter how high, can block America’s promise of liberty and justice for all.”

Countless LGBTQ refugees fleeing violence in countries like Syria and Iraq will suffer from the executive order to suspend the refugee admissions program. The executive order will prevent refugees from escaping some of most violent regimes in the world. HRC’s report, “Helping LGBTQ Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Age of ISIL,” highlighted how men alleged to have sex with men are hunted down by ISIL, targeted on social media and subjected to extreme violence.

Among the vicious attacks: ISIL has tied nooses around these men’s necks and dragged them behind trucks, burned them alive, thrown them off buildings and stoned them to death.

Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven said about the executive orders targeting immigrants and sanctuary cities: “Donald Trump’s war on immigrants is un-American:”

“Donald Trump’s latest executive orders are simply un-American. We are not a country that discriminates against people based on religion or nationality. We are not a country that builds a wall between ourselves and the rest of world. As a Jew whose grandparents watched in frustration while President Roosevelt refused to admit refugees from Nazi Germany, I am embarrassed for my country today.

“America is a beacon for LGBT people around the world, and restricting rather than expanding access to our shores harms us all. Donald Trump’s actions may score him points with his political base, but those points will come at the expense of lives lost, families broken apart and billions of taxpayer dollars wasted.”

In response, Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, issued the following statement:

“Targeting immigrants, Muslims, and refugees inverts what we know to be America at its best: a country that is made stronger by diversity and a country with freedom—including freedom of religion—as a core value. As the proud son of immigrants, I have witnessed the power of that American ideal firsthand. We in the LGBTQ community stand in solidarity with all immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ, at this dark moment. The executive orders are not only un-American, they are ineffectual if they are meant to make America “strong.” They in fact weaken us by dividing us, and we refuse to be divided.”

The NCLR, through its Executive Director, Kate Kendell, Esq. also reacted to the discriminatory order by stating: “The executive order blocks any immigration relief to those coming to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries, suspended the refugee program that has saved the lives of thousands of displaced people, treats asylum seekers who are fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries as suspected threats to our national security, increases the use of costly and inhumane mandatory detention including for immigrants who have no record of criminal or violent behavior, and erodes state and local control of community policing.

“The announcement today represents a direct attack on our most cherished values as a nation,” said Kendell. “To single out Muslim persons for stigma and suspicion undermines our commitment to inclusion, religious freedom, and our common humanity. Today that Lady of Liberty, symbol of America’s greatest promise to the world, hangs her head and weeps.”

From Twitter (below) people, celebrities and others reacted to the #MuslimBan.

 

[Excerpts from Various News Releases were added to the Report]

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