Trump’s Anti-Muslim America Has No Place in Seattle

Trump’s Anti-Muslim America Has No Place in Seattle

- in National, Politics
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SeaTac Muslim Ban Protest/S. Toce/The Seattle Lesbian
SeaTac Muslim Ban Protest/S. Toce/The Seattle Lesbian
U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order Friday immediately halting the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. The order also suspends the issuance of visas for 90 days to people in the following countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya. The unifying thread within these seven countries: they are predominantly Muslim.
“Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the secretary of state shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the secretary of state, the secretary of homeland security, and the director of national intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States,” the executive order read.
The executive order banning Muslims from entering the United States came on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“This dangerous policy was announced on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day where people around the globe remember the more than 10 million people killed during World War II,” a statement by the Human Rights Campaign. “Prior to and during the Holocaust, Jews, Poles, Roma, LGBTQ people and others were severely exacerbated by anti-immigrant policies that shamefully refused to accept people fleeing the Nazis.”

The LGBT Skapegoat

In a speech at Ohio’s Youngstown University Monday, Trump said,“Those who do not believe in our Constitution or who support bigotry or hatred will not be admitted for immigration into our country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country and to embrace a tolerant American society should be issued visas.”

Referencing sharia law and anti-LGBT American values, Trump added, “In June, 49 Americans were executed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It was the worst mass shooting in our history and the attack by far the worst on the LGBTQ community and I’ll tell you what, we can never, ever allow this to happen again.”

He called for the application of an “ideological test” to weed out supporters of the so-called Islamic State. The Pulse gunman, a New York native with parents from Afghanistan, pledged his allegiance to ISIS following the attack, however, no distinct connection to the terrorist group has ever been made.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz/Entrepreneur
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz/Entrepreneur

The Local Response

In a letter to employees, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz immediately called for the hiring of 10,000 refugees over the next five years. He stated that he would hire refugees “who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel.”
The letter further stated that Starbucks is committed to offering support to coffee growers in Mexico and will provide health insurance to eligible workers if Affordable Care Act is reversed. Starbucks would also back an immigration program allowing young immigrants to apply for a two-year reprieve from deportation.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said Sunday,  “Tonight, Port of Seattle officials gave me an update on the travelers who were detained at Sea-Tac as a result of President Trump’s callous action that left families in limbo and caused chaos at our nation’s airports. I was also able to hear first-hand from the family of a man who was prevented from entering the United States on Saturday. I thank his family for taking the time to share their experience.”
Murray called the events at Sea-Tac “appalling and un-American” and said, “We cannot stand for this – and I applaud the many peaceful demonstrators and lawyers who rushed to our airports to defend our democracy and help the people who have come to our country seeking refuge.”
She urged her fellow Americans to stand up and fight back.
“We should all find strength and resolve in the many thousands of people gathering tonight in Seattle, Tacoma, and cities around the country to stand up to say that this is our country, too –  and we believe that America has been and will continue to be a place of safety for people around the world fleeing horrific violence in one of the worst refugee crises in recent history,” she said. “I’ll be fighting as hard as I can at the federal level and encourage everyone to keep making your voices heard. There are moments in history that people look back on and wonder why more people didn’t stand up and fight back. Let’s make sure this moment is written differently.”
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said, “President Trump’s Executive Order today essentially targets Muslims based on their religious beliefs and undermines the right to religious freedom enshrined in the First Amendment. We cannot become a nation where any person – citizen, immigrant or refugee – must pass a religious test to be accepted and we cannot turn away people who are fleeing violence and persecution based on their beliefs.”

He referenced Seattle as an “inclusive, welcoming city” for all.

“President Trump’s vision of a closed-off, fearful America is not the one Seattleites believe in,” he said. “We are an inclusive, welcoming city for all – including our immigrant, refugee and Muslim friends, family and neighbors. Refugees are already the most strictly vetted group of immigrants entering the U.S. and President Trump is threatening to turn them away at a time when there is the most need. That is not who we are – we will continue to stand up for our values and with all our residents.”

Additional Responses

PFLAG National is the nation’s largest organization uniting families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ). Interim Executive Director Elizabeth Kohm said, “Over the weekend, thousands of PFLAG members in communities large and small took to airports, public spaces and their houses of worship to express concern about recent actions taken by the Trump administration, some of which detained U.S. citizens and legal visa-carrying U.S. residents, sending a chilling message to the rest of the world. Our nation’s invitation on the Statue of Liberty welcoming even the most marginalized people is not a suggestion; it’s a promise we must continue to keep.”

“Throughout our history, Lyft has worked hard to create an inclusive, diverse and conscientious community where all of our drivers and passengers feel welcome and respected,” CEO Logan Green told Recode. “Banning people of a particular religion from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values.”

Lyft has announced a pledge to donate $1 million over the next four years to the ACLU.

In response to the Muslim ban, Google has created a crisis campaign, its largest to date, with a $2 million fund that can be matched by employees for a total of $4 million. The fund will be applied to the following pro-rights organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee, and UNHCR.

Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta donated $100,000 to the ACLU and invited employees to a meeting this week to discuss further actions.

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