A rally outside the office of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) by the Jackson Heights-based DRUM, immigrant communities and their allies was overshadowed by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the preliminary injunction, allowing full enforcement of the Trump administration’s ban on travel from eight nations while legal challenges proceed through the lower courts.
Six of the countries – Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Chad and Somalia — are majority Muslim nations, while North Korea and Venezuela are also on the list.
“It is entirely unacceptable and un-American to discriminate against people based on race or religion,” New York Immigration Coalition Executive Director Steven Choi said. “Allowing full enforcement of the Muslim ban will not make this country safer or greater. Nearly a year after we rallied at JFK in response to the first Muslim ban, we will continue to fight Trump’s plan to turn bigotry into policy and resist this latest assault on our liberties just as we have every day since Trump took office.”
The coalition has been leading the fight against the Muslim ban since January, when the first Executive Order came out, as hundreds of lawyers and volunteers headed to JFK to assists detained travelers from 20 nations. Protests at JFK sparked actions across the country, including a rally at Battery Park which drew more than 30,000 protesters.
The Supreme Court’s order Monday came unsigned and without explanation. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were dissenting votes.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the ruling a substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people.
“We are pleased to have defended this order and heartened that a clear majority Supreme Court has allowed the President’s lawful proclamation protecting our country’s national security to go into full effect,” Sessions said in a statement. “The Constitution gives the president the responsibility and power to protect this country from all threats foreign and domestic, and this order remains vital to accomplishing those goals.”
The DRUM rally at Schumer’s office called for the senator to reject the racist principles they say are behind the president’s anti-immigrant agenda and to “defund hate in the budget and spending bills.”
Last week, the Senate Department of Homeland Security funding bill was released and proposed increasing funding for DHS, which oversees ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Our sense of right and moral has been torn apart. We need to stand for human values,” Rabbi Mira Rivera, from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, said. “We say nay, nay, nay to enforcement. We, as the Jewish Resistance, call on Senator Schumer to be a servant of the people.”
Meanwhile, DHS announced its end-of-year immigration enforcement numbers Tuesday, which shows ICE conducted 143,470 arrests, an increase of 40 percent from the year before and 226,119 deportations, an increase of 37 percent.
“We have the obligation to uphold the integrity of our immigration system, but we must do more to step up and close loopholes to protect the American worker, our economy, and our communities,” Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr
©2017 Community News Group
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