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AFSCME Opposes Trump’s Bigoted and Irresponsible Migrant Ban

“AFSCME is proud to join thousands in states across the country to speak out against Donald Trump’s bigoted and irresponsible executive order” banning Muslims from certain countries from entry into the U.S., said President Lee Saunders.
By Clyde Weiss ·
AFSCME Opposes Trump’s Bigoted and Irresponsible Migrant Ban

Like millions of Americans nationwide – and millions more worldwide – AFSCME is astonished and outraged by President Trump’s executive order that will block Muslims, from a select group of nations, entry into our country.

“AFSCME will never quit fighting for our communities. Our diversity as a union and as country is what makes us strong,” said President Lee Saunders. “We are proud to join thousands in states across the country to speak out against Donald Trump’s bigoted and irresponsible executive order that bans people from entering the country simply because of where they are from and how they worship. Marching against injustice is who we are. But we must also roll up our sleeves and organize together every day for the lasting change we want to see.”

By the nature of the countries singled out by Trump, the executive order primarily affects Muslims. Even those holding green cards were included in the ban, although the administration seems to have backed off excluding those with green cards after an outcry that even included lawmakers from his own party.

As reported in The Washington Post, “Trump’s virtually unprecedented executive action applies to migrants and U.S. legal residents from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen, and to refugees from around the world. People subject to the ban include dual nationals born in one of the seven countries who also hold passports from U.S. allies such as the United Kingdom.”

Yet, no terrorist acts have been committed by anyone from the nations that Trump targeted, even while people from nations where terrorists have come from were not banned by Trump’s executive order. Interestingly, Trump has business interests in those non-affected countries. So, we are faced with this reality: Trump’s order protects his corporate profits overseas while it fosters anti-Muslim sentiment at home and encourages our enemies by helping them to recruit even more members. This is unfathomable, let alone unconstitutional.

Trump’s divisive order also undermines the very foundation of what America has long stood for, as reflected in the famous poem “The New Colossus” mounted on the Statue of Liberty. It ends with these lines:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door! 

Many of us are first-generation Americans whose parents faced discrimination because of fear and misunderstanding. Their contributions made this nation great. In fact, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics states, “Immigration was crucial to the development of the U.S. economy and the workplace in the 20th century.”

The Labor Movement, with a long history of support for workers’ rights, civil rights and the basic dignity of the individual, will not stand by silently while President Trump tramps on the Constitution or on our heritage as a nation that welcomes refugees and migrants. We will resist.

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