Oakland, CA – President Donald Trump today, according to news sources, issued an executive order containing sweeping attacks on immigrant communities, and plans to issue another order tomorrow further targeting refugees and Muslims. Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi issued the following statement in response:
“Let’s be clear: with today’s actions and the actions he has promised tomorrow and going forward, President Trump is ordering the deaths of thousands, if not millions, of people who sacrificed everything for a chance of safety and freedom for their families. With the coded language of ‘increasing enforcement,’ he is ordering local police to target immigrants and tear parents away from their children, never to see them again. With ‘building a wall,’ he is ordering state officials at the borders to stop and detain transgender women fleeing murder, rape, and torture, and then march them back at gunpoint to the violence and death they narrowly escaped. With refugee bans and restrictions, he is ordering that, as Muslim refugees of persecution, war, and genocide seek safety in our shores, we turn them back and deny them their last chance at life simply because of their religious beliefs.
There is a lot of anxiety and a wide range of opinions in this country about immigration, the economy, and our safety as a nation. But we must all be able to come together and agree that the answer to these complicated questions cannot lie in sentencing millions of people to death. Yet that is exactly what President Trump is promising with increased force in our cities, walls at our borders, and persecution of people based on their religion.
President Trump is taking these actions in the name of all Americans, and every person who disagrees has an obligation to act, particularly U.S. citizens whose will Trump claims to be executing. There will be a vigil at the White House tonight and many groups are holding local demonstrations, which we encourage people to support. For attorneys with legal expertise to offer, Transgender Law Center has launched the Trans Immigrant Defense Effort (TIDE), where you can volunteer to be on the legal front lines defending our communities who are under attack. Organizations and groups that serve or want to support the LGBT community have an immediate step they can take to oppose the expansion of transgender pods in immigration detention facilities, and can reach out to Transgender Law Center to learn more.
As horrifying as these attacks are, they are not new and our communities have survived similar violence for decades by coming together and supporting each other. Right now more than ever, undocumented and Muslim leaders who have been organizing against violence for years must be front and center in the resistance against President Trump. Transgender immigrants can seek legal advice through Transgender Law Center’s TIDE program.
Every day brings a new attack from this president on our communities, from denying reproductive justice to pushing forward pipelines that will poison our water and strip Native communities of their land and self-determination. This is not the time for despair, but for resistance, resilience, and action. We must be a refuge to each other as President Trump attempts to destroy any official refuge the U.S. would offer us.”