quick thoughts from this weekend’s resistance against trump’s fascist muslim and refugee ban

January 30, 2017

Even amidst the raging, un-extinguishable dumpster-fire that’s been the opening week of Donald Trump’s presidency, Friday’s executive order banning Muslims and refugees of seven nations from entering the U.S. was a high-reaching flame that looked to leave singe marks on the Constitution and some basic (if hardly equally enacted) American self-beliefs.

The executive order banned the residents of (and, importantly, legal U.S. Green Card holders from) seven nations — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — from entering the country. The order also set off a 30-day review of all other countries it labeled as “terror-prone,” whose citizens may be added to the ban. Curiously for those citing national security as a reason for this executive order, the ban did not address the countries of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, which have direct links to attacks on American soil (including 9/11), and which — un-ironically — are countries where Donald Trump has business holdings. (It also did not address American white males, the demographic most responsible for domestic terrorism.)

The heinous executive order did not stop there: It suspended for four months the admission of all refugees to the U.S. It entirely banned refugees from the war-torn nation of Syria. It looked to establish “extreme vetting” procedures for any refugees looking to enter the U.S. Additionally, a clause in the executive order indirectly instructed the prioritization of Christian refugees from Middle Eastern countries over Muslim refugees (“…provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality”).

By Piotr Orlov, AFROPUNK contributor

As the first affected arrivals began to pour into American airports on Saturday morning, and started being detained at U.S. border customs desks by Department of Homeland Security personnel overly ambitious to serve their new Orange Overlord, protests began flaring up all over American airports. Huge turn-outs swarmed major international hubs such as New York’s JFK, Los Angeles’ LAX and Seattle’s SeaTac; yet even smaller airports across the country, such as North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International and Alabama’s Birmingham-Shuttlesworth saw crowds in upwards of a thousand show-up to support people trying to enter the country, often chanting “Let Them In.”

By Saturday night, a legal brief filed by the ACLU in New York, stayed the executive order, meaning that the foreign nationals detained at the airports could not be sent back. By Sunday afternoon, as rallies at airports and city centers grew, another stay, this one at a federal court in Boston, halted for seven days the full enforcement of the ban, saying that travelers from the countries cited can, in fact, enter the U.S. And like numerous other Trump directives, the legality of the whole order has been questioned as it goes against the 1965 Immigration Act, which abolished quotas on nations from which refugees were coming into the U.S.

That is the law that opened the doors for political refugees from the Soviet Union to come to America in the 1970s. In other words, it is the law that allowed me to be here. To this land of the so-called free, where I arrived in March of 1977, this imperfect and fucked-up place, a nation I try to make weirder and more colorful, more just and more tolerant every damn day. It is unconscionable that people who are trying to escape persecution would be denied entry into these borders. They need to be here in order to survive, and we need them to be here in order to help us thrive into the future.
You’ll be hearing more on this.