President Trump’s Executive Order Targeting Refugees and Muslims

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order (EO) titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” As promised during his campaign, Trump issued the EO to discriminate against Muslims and refugees. His unconstitutional order, which is being temporarily blocked by the courts, harms immigrant families in the US and our international standing, and threatens our national security.

While it is good news that the courts have blocked the order, which is the way our system of check-and-balances is supposed to work, this is only a temporary block. Donald Trump continues to fight this in the courts and is also planning sign another EO to reimplement the ban.

Congress can stop the ban! Congress has the power to stop the ban from being implemented. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, MoCs need to pass legislation to nullify and defund the ban. Ask your MoCs to:

  • Publicly condemn the ban, including through statements, speeches, and other written remarks

  • Sign-on to legislation that would nullify and defund the ban

    • In the Senate, that’s the S. 274

    • In the House, that’s the SOLVE Act

  • Slow down the process in the Senate!

    • Continue to ask your Senators to “withhold consent” until the Muslim ban is permanently lifted

Town Hall/Office Visit Questions

ALWAYS try incorporating a personal story when communicating with your MoCs. Below are sample questions for your MoCs:

  1. I am appalled by the refugee and Muslim ban that Donald Trump tried to impose. It is not only un-American, but also puts American lives at greater risk. I, like a majority of the American public, oppose the ban and expect you to do all you can to make sure no such ban ever goes into effect. Can I count on you to forcefully condemn the Muslim ban in public statements, including on the House/Senate floor?
     
  2. I am deeply concerned by Donald Trump’s abuse of executive power, such as through his unconstitutional Muslim ban. I’m glad that the courts have temporarily blocked the Muslim ban, but I’m afraid that another court will allow it to take effect. I, like a majority of Americans, oppose the Muslim ban and expect you to do more to stop it. Will you sign your name to legislation [SOLVE Act in House/S.274 in Senate] that would block implementation of the ban and prevent funding for it?

SAMPLE CALL DIALOGUE

Staffer: Congressman Bob’s Office! How can I help you?

Caller: Good morning/afternoon. I’m a constituent of Congressman Bob’s and I’m calling to ask what his position is on President Trump’s Executive Order halting refugee admissions and banning muslims.

Option 1: OPPOSES BAN

  • Staffer: The Congressman hasn’t taken a position on procedural issues. But he has made a strong statement objecting to the Executive Order.

    Caller: Great! I’m so glad to hear it. In that case, I’m calling to ask that Congressman Bob co-sponsor HR 724, the Statue of Liberty Values (SOLVE) Act. This bill would nullify President Trump’s unconstitutional and discriminatory executive order, and prevent funding for implementation of the order.

    Staffer: Thank you for your message, I’ll pass it on to the Congressman.

    Caller: Thank you. I consider this issue to be tremendously important and I’ll be watching to see if Congressman Bob is doing everything he can to stop this unconstitutional Executive Order.

Option 2: SUPPORTS BAN

  • Staffer: Yes, the Congressman believes that more restrictive immigration controls are necessary to respond to the threat of terrorism. (etc, etc)

    Caller: I’m deeply disappointed to hear that. This ban is a violation of our fundamental American values and everything that our nation stands for. This ban will tear families apart and hurt the most vulnerable people in the world. And it will also be a huge loss to America, which has always benefited from diversity and immigration.

    Staffer: Thank you for your message, I’ll pass it on to the Congressman.

    Caller: Thank you. I hope that Congressman Bob will reconsider his position and will publicly stand up to Trump on this unconstitutional, hateful Executive Order.

Option 3: WORD SALAD / NO POSITION
Note: As of 1/31/2017, many Members of Congress were still refusing to take a clear position on the ban. They have instead issued neutral or unclear statements, seeking to avoid giving a public comment. As a constituent, you are entitled to clear answers as to where they stand.

  • Staffer: The Congressman is monitoring the implementation of the ban.

    Caller: What does that mean?

    Staffer: The Congressman believes that we must strike a balance between safety and our values.

    Caller: Can you give me a yes or no answer on whether Congressman Bob supports his ban?

    Staffer: The Congressman is monitoring the implementation of the ban in order to reach a decision.

    Caller: This ban was announced several days ago, and Congressman Bob has had plenty of time to reach a position. He owes it to his constituents to give us a clear answer on where he stands.

    Staffer: I’ll pass that message on to the Congressman.

    Caller: Thank you, and let him know that I am deeply disappointed that he is unwilling to speak out on an Executive Order that’s clearly unconstitutional and is a violation of our most basic values as Americans.

 

Reclaim RecessCaroline Kavit