On January 28, President Trump's executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days and suspending the admission of all refugees for 120 days was met with widespread outrage, condemnation, and resistance. While a federal judge suspended key parts of the executive order on Friday and a legal battle is ensuing, the Trump administration has made it clear that the much-hyped "Muslim ban" of his campaign is a very real threat.
This week's Story + Action illustrates both the urgency of rejecting the ban because of the powerful thread of human connection across borders that may be snapped if the United States were to close our borders to citizens of any country, as well as the ways that we all can support refugees in our communities through any means we have available. Some of us will protest. Some of us will give money to the ACLU or other nonprofits supporting refugees, immigrants, and their rights. Some of us will lend our professional experience or prepare a meal or donate items of clothing. The important thing is to make our voices heard. Pick up the phone and call your representatives and tell them #nobannowall. After you hang up, look around and see what else you can do.
Pantsuit Nation admin Lee Fearnside had the honor of interviewing Nada Odeh. Nada is an artist, activist, humanitarian, poet and immigrant from Syria. She was born and raised in Damascus and came to the US in 2013 because of the conflict in her country. Nada uses her art to tell the story of refugees and to humanize them to others. She is pursuing her MA in Museum Studies at Syracuse University in New York.
Q: What is your favorite memory of Damascus?
Although enforcement of the executive order banning travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries has been halted nationwide, the Trump administration will challenge the legal ruling and wishes to see the ban implemented. This executive order has a real impact on families like Nada’s and the refugee community she advocates for through her art. For our action this week please call your elected officials to let them know that we, the voters and the American people, do NOT agree with this executive order.
Call your senators and congresspeople TODAY. Find their numbers here.
Use this script:
"Hi my name is ___________, and I’m your constituent from [city and zip]. I’m calling to ask [Representative/Senator ___________] to speak out against President Trump’s executive order on immigration. This order divides families and friends separated by country, and will not make us safer. It also goes against our values as Americans. Denounce this order and do everything in your power to see that it is reversed. My name is _____________ and my address is [hometown address]. Thank you."
If you are called to do more, find a refugee assistance organization in your state and donate or volunteer. You can find contact information for assistance organizations in your state here.
[Image descriptions: A photo of a woman dark auburn brown hair smiles and leans against a tree. In the first of two painted images, a stylized young girl wears a gown and a tiara with refugee tents visible in the background. In the second painted image, a similarly stylized mother is reading a book to her two young children in the midst of refugee tents in the background.]