President Trump’s executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees was put into immediate effect Friday night. Refugees who were in the air on the way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports.
The detentions prompted legal challenges as lawyers representing two Iraqi refugees held at Kennedy Airport filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus early Saturday in the Eastern District of New York seeking to have their clients released. At the same time, they filed a motion for class certification, in an effort to represent all refugees and immigrants who they said were being unlawfully detained at ports of entry.
Mr. Trump’s order, which suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, created a legal limbo for individuals on the way to the United States and panic for families who were awaiting their arrival.
Mr. Trump’s order also stops the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, and it bars entry into the United States for 90 days from seven predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism. Those countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
It was unclear how many refugees and immigrants were being held nationwide in the aftermath of the executive order...
No, what is clear is that the United States is no longer a caring, open, accepting home for the refugees and immigrants that comes to... USED TO COME TO our shores.
Even as we promoted ourselves as a nation with open arms, we have bad history when it came to immigration. We were harsh against the Chinese back in the 1880s all the way up to 1943(!), we arrested and interred Japanese after Pearl Harbor, we blocked Jews trying to flee the onslaught of the Nazis, we made a mess of things with the Irish and the Italians and the Russians and more.
And yet we tried to make it all work. As messy as it could all get, we united as a nation with a multitude of cultures and backgrounds and ethnicities. We moved past the flaws of our exclusion and we became a global power, for a brief time a sole Superpower, an Empire not by the lands we conquered but by the ideas we sampled and shared.
And then 62 million of us voted for Trump.
Hate-spewing, immigrant-bashing Trump.
Our history is supposed to go forward, not back.
My history is personal. I am named for my great-grandfather Ernst Paul who came to the United States as an immigrant. No matter the distance of time and relatives between us, I am he.
I AM THE SON OF IMMIGRANTS. We are all of us sons and daughters of immigrants. Even Trump is the direct son of an immigrant, and what he does here is shameful and insulting to his own existence.
Trump does this under the excuse of national security, of trying to stop terrorists from "sneaking" into our home. But look at the nations he's banning: he's excluding places like Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, and Egypt. Most of the major terror attacks here in the U.S. came from THOSE nations, and yet we're punishing Somalians, and Syrians, and Libyans, and any other nationality trying to flee war zones.
Trump will grant an exception, but guess what: it'll be for Christians fleeing from those war zones. He is intentionally ignoring Muslims, and without subtlety. I'm not the only one noting that this deliberate favoritism - Trump's intentional disregard for Islam as a faith - is giving terror groups like ISIL and Al Queda great marketing and recruitment material.
If you are TRULY American, you should remember that you are here because of an immigrant or refugee coming here was your ancestor. You should remember that your culture is here because thousands of immigrants came here and made their mark on this great nation. You should remember that we are strong as a nation precisely because we overcame our fears and our hates and did the work here and abroad that needed to get done.
If you are TRULY American, what Donald Trump and his wingnut Far Right fearmongers are doing now should offend you.
WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS.
Update: Nationwide protests at the major airports where Muslims enter the country. Hundreds of thousands are rising up in alarm. Lawyers are at the airports struggling to provide pro bono aid to those with green cards caught in this hellish situation. Federal courts issued stays trying to undo the damage of Trump's order... and now Trump is telling Homeland Security and their customs officials to ignore the courts. We are truly in the middle of a Constitutional Crisis.
Keep up the protests, America. It's all on us to stop Trump and his destructive agenda.