On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration from seven countries. This included US green card holders from those countries who happened to be out of the US at the time, which led to chaos at US airports before some of the executive order was stayed.
(it’s not technically a ban on Muslim immigration, but Rudy Giuliani has admitted that was the intent, and they crafted it to try to make it legal)
This is unprecedented. Here’s an admittedly conservative commentator about why this is both malevolent and incompetent. I spent a lot of yesterday in intermittent despair, but today I’m ready to do something about it. Here are some things you can do:
- Call your representative and senators: Wait, come back! I know this sounds intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be. There’s a very helpful step-by-step process for this at 5calls.org! Or read on for some common objections:
- I don’t know who they are or how to reach them! – See usecalltoaction.com to look up your representative and his/her phone number. To find your senator, you can look them up by state at senate.gov.
- I don’t know what to say! – Yeah, this was my big obstacle for a while. But you don’t have to be particularly eloquent and it doesn’t have to be long. Try this:
Hi, my name is and I’m a constituent from . I’m calling to urge Senator/Representative to stand against President Trump’s cruel and unAmerican executive order on immigration. Thank you for your time.
Feel free to add more at the end, but be polite since you’ll be talking to a staffer!
- My representative/senator is a Republican, of course they’re going to support it, why should I bother? – Not so fast! Not many Republicans have said one way or the other where they stand on it. And you can read more in this guide written by former congressional staffers, but representatives do keep track of calls for and against issues. Trump’s popularity is already pretty low, so it’s not inevitable that Congresspeople are going to stand behind him!
- My representative/senator is a Democrat, of course they’re going to oppose it, why should I bother? – Well, according to the same chart there are still some Democrats that haven’t made a statement about it. And if they have, thanking them for doing the right thing will encourage them to do so in the future. (see again the guide written by former congressional staffers)
- Contact your representative and senators on social media – This is less helpful than a phone call, but still valuable. My representative Bill Flores actually responds to tweets, although that seems pretty rare. Again, this doesn’t have to be particularly eloquent; here’s mine:
Urging my representative @RepBillFlores to stand against the counterproductive, unAmerican, and cruel executive order on immigration!
— Greg Stoll (@gregstoll) January 29, 2017
- Give to the ACLU – The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the executive order and won, which stopped some people from being deported. They’re making a real difference – help them!
- Register to vote – Keith Ellison reminds us that elections are coming soon – if you’re not registered, here’s where you can get started.
- Help a burned-down mosque in Victoria, TX – So this isn’t directly related, but early Saturday morning a mosque in Victoria, TX burned down. They’re still investigating the cause, but it certainly seems suspicious based on the timing. They have set up a GoFundMe to raise money for rebuilding – show them that Americans of all faiths stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters!
- Tell others what’s going on – Taking these actions privately is good, but leading by example is better. It’s been such a chaotic week that your friends may have missed this. Let them know what’s going on, why it’s terrible and frightening, and what they can do!
And as always, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. I must have checked Twitter a hundred times yesterday (as you can probably tell by all my retweets :-/) and by the end of the day I was feeling pretty despondent. Sadly, my usual distraction of reading a book on my Kindle didn’t help much because it’s about politics, so I found other things to do. Playing with a baby is recommended 🙂 as is seeing how many people are giving to help rebuild the mosque in Victoria!