Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard that Trump signed a chilling executive order on Friday banning the entry of immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely. If it were not transparent enough that this is a ban on Muslims, the order specifically says that it will give priority to Christian refugees over Muslim ones. Bonus points for signing this order on Holocaust Remembrance Day - that was probably Bannon's idea.
Noticeably absent from the list of banned countries were Egypt, the United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia - all Muslim-majority countries that have a history of exporting terrorists to the U.S. but also happen to be countries with which Trump has business ties. According to the NYTimes, "In Saudi Arabia, his most recent government financial disclosure revealed several limited liability Trump corporations. In Egypt, he had two Trump companies registered. In the United Arab Emirates, he had licensed his name to a Dubai golf resort and a luxury residential development and spa. Some of these entities have since been closed, and others remain active."
Ironically, these three countries accounted for 18 of the 19 terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks which were directed by another Saudi, Osama Bin Laden, with the assistance of an Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahri. So it appears that Trump's ban is not only antithetical to everything America stands for, but it's also wildly inconsistent and self-serving...
Thanks to the quick work of the ACLU, a federal judge in Brooklyn stayed the executive order on Saturday, which temporarily stopped the deportation of refugees and other immigrants detained at U.S. airports. I had made a donation to the ACLU just after the election but when I heard this news, I made another gift - the ACLU will be a crucial champion in the next four years.
1. Please join me in donating to the ACLU and/or The National Immigration Law Center - they are on the front lines of this fight.
Wonderful protests spontaneously erupted at international airports all across the country and a HUGE crowd gathering at JFK to show solidarity with the people trapped inside by Trump's ban. The NYC Taxi Workers Alliance called for a strike of its 19,000 members (many of whom are Muslims and immigrants) and halted pickups at JFK in solidarity.
But Uber crossed the picket line, announcing that it was deliberately suspending surge pricing at JFK. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a member of Trump’s economic advisory board. In justifying the move to his employees, some of whom are directly impacted by Trump’s illegal order, Kalanick said, "We'll partner with anyone in the world as long they're about making transportation in cities better…”
In contrast, Uber competitor, Lyft issued the following statement: "Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.” Lyft ended by pledging to donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years :) Update: in the face of major public backlash, Uber has since backpedaled significantly but the CEO is still part of Trump's economic advisory panel...
2. Urge Uber and the 18 other major corporations who are part of Trump's economic advisory panel to renounce his ban and stop collaborating with his administration. If you have a connection to any of these companies, please also reach out via whatever channels are available to you. If you use Uber, you can delete your Uber account to send a message to Uber's CEO that profits do not trump human and civil rights. You can switch to Lyft or just opt for public transportation if it's an option! Send a message to Uber letting them know you've deleted your account and why - popular hashtags are #NoBanNoWall and #DeleteUber.
3. Call your members of Congress to ask them to speak out against the ban, thank them for denouncing it or scold them for supporting it. Here's the list of who has said something in favor of, against or has stayed silent so far. See the scripts below for the various scenarios based on whether your congressperson has done the right thing, the wrong thing or nothing.
If your Congressperson has not said anything yet:
My name is YOUR NAME and I'm a constituent calling from YOUR CITY OR TOWN. I am appalled by President Trump's recent Executive Order banning Muslim immigrants and refugees from seven countries from entering the U.S. I urge the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE to publicly denounce this extremely un-American executive order and to fully support the effort to repeal it. Anything less is a true failure of the principles we hold dear as Americans. I also urge the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE to do everything possible to block Trump's cabinet picks, including Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, Tom Price, and Steve Mnuchin. Thank you for taking the time to pass my comments along.
If your Congressperson has publicly supported the ban:
My name is YOUR NAME and I'm a constituent calling from YOUR CITY OR TOWN. I am appalled by President Trump's recent Executive Order banning Muslim immigrants and refugees from seven countries from entering the U.S. I am equally horrified by the fact that the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE has endorsed this extremely un-American executive order. I urge the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE to publicly rescind support for the ban ASAP. Thank you for taking the time to pass my comments along.
If your Congressperson has publicly denounced the ban:
My name is YOUR NAME and I'm a constituent calling from YOUR CITY OR TOWN. I am appalled at President Trump's recent Executive Order banning Muslim immigrants and refugees from seven countries from entering the U.S. I wanted to say how much I appreciate the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE's refusal to support this un-American ban and I expect HIM OR HER to back up those words by obstructing the efforts of Trump's administration at every opportunity, starting with blocking the confirmation of his cabinet nominees. Thank you for taking the time to pass my comments along.
4. Join a protest. These are ongoing at airports across the country. Find a protest near you.