Immigrant Communities Respond to Executive Actions Banning Refugees and Attacking Sanctuary Cities

From: Organized Communities Against Deportations

Chicago, IL – Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders today targeting sanctuary cities and expanding the border wall; as well as others Thursday increasing surveillance on immigrant communities, blocking visas from being issued to seven Arab or Muslim countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen), and halting the ability of refugees to come to the United States.  While these executive actions will be signed under the auspices of protecting the U.S. from violent threats, they are nothing more than the institutionalization of the xenophobia and Islamophobia that have brought Trump to power.

A press conference in response to possible executive actions by President Donald Trump banning refugees and immigrants and attacking cities that stand with immigrants will be held today, Wednesday, January 25, 1 p.m. at 525 W. Van Buren Street, Chicago.

In attendance will be families and individuals impacted by President Trump’s executive actions along with Chicago immigrant rights organizations, including the Arab American Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago, Organized Communities Against Deportations, United African Organization, Korean Resource and Cultural Center, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and others.

“We are aware that these policies serve to demonize and target immigrant communities, as well as erode the hard fought-for protections that we have won over the years,” said Rosi Carrasco of Organized Communities Against Deportations. “We are worried that these executive orders also serve as a stepping-stone for more troubling policies that Trump has promised, including registries, raids, and deportations of Arab, Muslim, South Asian, African, and Latinx immigrants.”

In addition to policy consequences, these executive orders will also deepen what has been called the “Trump Effect”: the increase in racist hate crimes that have targeted immigrant, Black, Asian, and Arab and Muslim communities since Trump’s campaign gained prominence.  Immigrant rights organizations will address how hate crimes further marginalize our communities and embolden xenophobes and racists to take matters into their own hands.

Trump’s promise to attack sanctuary cities would punish Chicago for not forcing local law enforcement to adhere with federal immigration enforcement policies of racially profiling immigrants and breaking up immigrant families.  While it cannot stop ICE from carrying out raids, the sanctuary city policy in Chicago is an important protection for immigrant communities, and has been a cornerstone here since its introduction by Mayor Harold Washington in the 80s.