Posted on January 25, 2017 in Arab American Institute

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Standing up for welcoming communities

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Click here to stand against the bigoted Executive Orders

Since 9/11, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry has remained a consistent phenomenon. But the 2016 election cycle brought a fresh wave of bigotry towards immigrants in the United States that we are still fighting. The Arab American Institute and many of our allies are focusing on urgent measures to safeguard against the aggressive policies that discriminate against immigrants proposed by then-Candidate Donald Trump and implemented by Executive Orders within his first week in office. 

Many of the concerning immigration proposals and policies are reflective of a fear-mongering and xenophobic approach to policy making disguised in a cloak of “national security.” When immigration policy is used as a tool to discriminate against immigrants based on their national origin, ethnicity, or religion - it is at odds with American values. The determination of immigration status and enforcement of immigration laws must be performed humanely, and must uphold due process and the equal protection of laws.

From a "Muslim Ban" and halting the U.S. refugee resettlement programs to threats of defunding sanctuary cities and imposing religious tests on immigrants– there are many opportunities for local communities to push back on xenophobic policies in support of a compassionate approach to immigration policy that is in line with American ideals.

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As part of AAI's 2017 Advocacy Roadmap - we are organizing around

FOUR LOCAL & NATIONAL ACTIONS TO STAND AGAINST BIGOTRY:


#1

STAND AGAINST DISCRIMINATORY EXECUTIVE ORDERS THAT TARGET IMMIGRANTS AND BAN MUSLIMS & FOR A ROBUST IMMIGRATION PROCESS THAT TREATS ALL EQUALLY.

 Target: President Trump, Senators, Representatives, State Legislatures, and City Council

Organize: Organize a phone bank, Twitter storm, and meetings with State Legislatures and City Council members.

Actions:

1) Call your Senators and Representative and ask that they speak out against bigotry and specifically the “Muslim Ban” Executive Order.

2) Tweet at President Trump (@POTUS) with sample tweets AAI drafted.

3) Ask your City Council and State Legislature to pass a Resolution opposing the “Muslim Ban.”


 

#2

STAND AGAINST ANTI-IMMIGRANT ACTIONS & FOR “SANCTUARY” POLICIES

Target: Mayors, City Council Members, University Administrators

Organize: Organize letter campaigns, and in-person meetings with your city council members, university administrators and leaders of local houses of worship.

Actions: Find out if you live in a sanctuary state/city | Learn what it means to be a "Sanctuary City"  

1) If your city is a sanctuary city, write to your Mayor and members of your City Council expressing your support that the city remains a sanctuary for un-documented immigrants amidst the threats of de-funding. Voice your support often, and build a coalition to stand up for these policies if they are threatened.

2) If your city is not a sanctuary city, write to your Mayor and members of your City Council expressing a desire to see your town become a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. During meetings with City Council members, provide this draft legislation they can pass.

3) Meet with local University/College Administrators and ask them to become a sanctuary for their undocumented students. Many leading universities have taken this important step. 


#3

STAND AGAINST ANTI-MUSLIM BIGOTRY & FOR A ROBUST REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM 

Target: Governor, State Legislators, Mayor, City Council

Organize: Organize letter writing campaigns, and request in-person meetings with your City Council. Request meetings with the Governor for a group of Arab American leaders from across the state and recently resettled refugees in your state.

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Actions:

1)  Following attacks in Paris, France in 2015, many Governors stood in opposition to their state participating in the federal refugee resettlement program. Check the resource page for a list of Governors that issued statements in opposition.  Contact your state legislators and Governor to express a desire  (sample letter) for your state to welcome refugees and oppose religious tests on refugees. Download or share the graphic here to show that the vetting process is SECURE.

2)  Meet with your Mayor and members of your City Council to express desire for your city to welcome refugees – especially if your Governor opposed the resettlement program. Use this draft city council resolution.


 

#4

 STAND AGAINST BIGOTRY THAT SEEKS TO DIVIDE & FOR MORE “WELCOMING COMMUNITIES” ACROSS THE COUNTRY


Advocacy_Graphics.jpgTarget: Governor, State Legislators, Mayor, City Council

Organize: Organize a letter writing campaign and request in-person meetings with your Governor, State Legislators, City Council members, and Mayor.

Actions: 

1)  Ask your elected officials to sign AAI’s “Commitment to Combat Bigotry” and demand that they uphold civil discourse. (Found in resources.) 

2) Pass a “No Bigotry” resolution. Use this sample text.

3) Work with local refugee resettlement agencies to establish your township as a welcoming community for refugees and new immigrants. Review the Welcoming Communities toolkit to find out how.