This weekend, as people from seven Muslim-majority countries were either deported or detained due to President Donald Trump’s confusing and hastily written executive order, citizens of all stripes rushed to international airports around the country to protest. Hundreds of lawyers also rushed to the airports to offer legal assistance to those in need. I was one of those lawyers.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today denounced an executive order issued by President Donald J. Trump that has the effect of shutting down our borders to refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority nations.
“President Trump just acted to fulfill his promise to ban Muslim refugees and immigrants,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “He has abandoned our nation’s commitment to religious freedom, and he’s turning away those seeking safe harbor and a better life. This action is fundamentally un-American.”
Americans United staff joined faith leaders Wednesday in voicing opposition to any efforts by the Trump administration to use religion as a reason to bar refugees and immigrants from the United States.
AU Faith Organizer Bill Mefford and I attended an afternoon press conference at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and a prayer vigil at the White House to support Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders who spoke out against an anticipated presidential order that would ban immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries and block Syrian refugees.
As a candidate for president, Donald Trump vowed to ban Muslim refugees and immigrants. Just a few days into his presidency, it looks like he’s poised to act unilaterally to fulfill that promise.
Trump may as soon as tomorrow sign an order to temporarily ban people from coming to the United States from some Muslim-majority countries and halt refugees from resettling here. This action is clearly targeted at Muslims, and it is a breach of the foundational American promise of religious freedom for all. It’s fundamentally un-American.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-Ala.) two-day confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to be U.S. attorney general concluded today, but Sessions has already cemented our concerns about his lack of respect for religious freedom.
A few days ago, a reporter asked President-elect Donald J. Trump about whether recent attacks in Berlin and Turkey had caused him to rethink or reevaluate his plans for a Muslim ban or Muslim registry. He responded, “You know my plans. All along, I’ve been proven to be right.”