“I am glad I was able to go and help by providing legal information and explanations of the constantly changing situation. But more so, I am glad I was able to provide comfort to immigrants who were confused and scared about what would happen to their family members abroad who have green cards or U.S. visas and may not be able to return.
The sheer number of people who showed up this weekend–not just the lawyers, but the huge group of regular citizens who wanted to support and welcome these people–they all helped restore some of my faith in humanity.”
-Angela Edman, site attorney for DC-MD JFON, at Washington Dulles International Airport.
National Justice for Our Neighbors is thankful to immigration attorneys—heroes and heroines like Angela–who are on the front lines zealously defending immigrants and refugees under attack by President Trump’s latest Executive Order.
The third and most recent immigration-focused Executive Order by President Trump, signed Friday, January 27th, targets refugees as well as those traveling from seven predominantly Muslim countries. National Justice for Our Neighbors is strongly opposed to this action because it shuts the door on the world’s most vulnerable people.
This order includes an unprecedented travel ban in that it excludes entry into our country based on where someone was born. The order applies to Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. The ban splits families apart, prevents many students in America from continuing their education, and threatens the jobs of people who need to travel for work. In 2016, the JFON network served 175 refugees and asylees from the seven banned countries. Notably, while the ban purports to protect Americans, the total number of Americans killed on U.S. soil by citizens of those countries since 1975 is zero.
The Executive Order suspends America’s refugee program for 120 days, which will effectively grind refugee resettlement here to a halt. This is because many of the requirements of refugees, such as security screenings and medical exams, are time-limited and will expire by the time the ban is lifted. The order reduces the number of refugees we will accept from 110,000 to 50,000 and bans all refugees from Syria, reneging on our nation’s pledge to the world to provide refuge to these most imperiled people.
Another troubling element of the Executive Order is the provision which allows states to have a more active role in banning the acceptance of refugees. We have seen many governors over the past year seek to shut the door on refugees, and this order grants them more authority to do just that.
The administration action’s force our immigrant neighbors further into the shadows and cruelly endanger the lives of those fleeing violence. These actions also threaten our identity and legacy as a country. It is more important now than ever to educate ourselves and our communities, and take action in any way we can. Here’s how you can help.
- Learn More and Share Information about the Latest Executive Order
Advocates from Refugee Council USA have put together the FAQ Tool attached below on what is currently known about the latest Executive Order. Please note the disclaimer at the top of the document that it “is not legal advice but instead provides the best answers that we can provide at this time. It is subject to change as additional guidance is released from the U.S. Government.”
Refugee Center Online (RCO) has prepared webpages in English, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, French, Karen, Kurdish, Nepali, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese to help explain to refugees how the Executive Order will affect them. Please distribute widely!
- Call Elected Officials
Elected officials must understand the broad support for welcoming refugees and other newcomers. Please call your local, state, and national leaders — tell them where you’re from, why you care about refugees, and urge them to support the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Click here for more information including a sample call script from our friends at Refugee Council USA.
- Collect Stories
We are all hearing stories of people around the country and around the world who are directly affected by the Executive Order. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society developed this form to collect and share these stories to illustrate the widespread devastation of Trumps’ policy. These stories can include:
- People detained at ports of entry
- Refugees who were expecting to come to the U.S. (in the “pipeline”)
- U.S. residents who were expecting their family members to join them in the U.S.
- Communities and congregations who were expecting to welcome refugees (i.e. furnishing apartments, collecting donations, etc.)
By filling out the form, you are granting permission for these stories to be told publicly. No identifying information will be used. Photos are encouraged. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
- Host a Vigil or Press Event
We urge you to check out Church World Service’s resources regarding hosting VIGILS & PRESS EVENTS opposing this announcement and the immigration announcements that happened on Friday. Let us know if you decide to host an event and please send us photos!
- Sign A Petition
Sign THIS PETITION from Moveon.org that opposes the latest Executive Order and already has more than 37,000 signatures within 24 hours.
Thank you for all the ways you are helping us lift a message of inclusivity, compassion and justice.
- Donate to our 20 by ’20 Campaign!
If we learned anything these past few days, it is that the law, the courts, and lawyers are crucial in this fight to protect and defend our immigrant, refugee, and asylee neighbors. We know that without attorneys, our most vulnerable and marginalized neighbors don’t stand a chance. In response, NJFON is introducing our…
20 by ’20 Campaign!
We currently have 15 JFON sites across the country.
Our goal is to increase that number to 20 sites by 2020.