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Politics & Government

Milwaukee Leaders Say Immigration Ban is Un-American

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Micaela Martin
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Newly arrived Syrian refugees fear for the safety of loved ones stuck in Syria or in refugee camps in Jordan

More members of the Milwaukee community are hoping to send a message to President Donald Trump. It is that America and Milwaukee will not stand for discrimination. Late last week, Trump signed an executive order, temporarily banning immigrants and refugees from seven countries where Islam is the main religion. A mix of local lawmakers, immigrants and advocacy groups joined together Monday to voice their position.

State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa stood at a podium in a room filled with concerned people on Milwaukee’s south side, with this to say…

“I’m floored that today I’m here to fight for immigrants who are in our country and in our community lawfully and legally. Immigrants and refugees that did everything that they were supposed to do to be able to come to our country. Vetting so thorough for immigrants waiting to enter the U.S. that it takes on average two years to be approved. This is incredible and unacceptable,” Zamarripa says.

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Credit Micaela martin
Immigration activist say there would be no America without immigrants

Zamarripa then called upon GOP Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, to denounce the order. On Friday, Ryan defended the president’s ban, saying it’s in the best interests of homeland security. He says it will give the U.S. time to strengthen its vetting process, so it knows exactly who is entering the country.

While Trump was on the campaign trail last year, he said he would ban Muslims from coming into the United States until leaders knew what they were doing. Janan Najeeb says President Trump is following through on his promise, no matter how un-American it is. Najeeb is founder and president of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition.

“While the president claims that immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen are being banned for security reasons to prevent potential terrorists from entering the United States, there is no visa ban on Saudi Arabia, the country that produced the 9/11 hijackers,” Najeeb says.

Najeeb insists the president’s policy won’t make the U.S. safer, and could have the opposite effect.

“The world is facing one of the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, a ban on Muslims and refugees fleeing persecution in some of the most terrible war zones in the world will do irreparable damage to the country’s image and our very identity as the United States of America. It will put our soldiers in war zones at risk. Our military counts on thousands translators and others that will be reluctant to help us knowing we will, in the end, abandon them,” Najeeb says.

President Trump’s ban on Syrian refugees is indefinite. One who arrived in the U.S. only 10 days ago, is Smaher Aldaye. She spoke Monday with the help of a translator.

“She said we lived under chemical and other bombardments in Syria and the trek to Jordan was a very, very difficult process in itself. And many refugees, some went to Jordan, some went to other places, leaving everything that they’ve ever owned behind them.”

Aldaye says refugees don’t come to America to threaten it.

“Refugees that come here are not coming to commit acts of terrorism, they are not coming here because they want to change the way of life. They’re coming here because they want also security. They want to live like normal human beings.”

Aldaye says that while she does still have family stuck in Syria as well as in refugee camps in Jordan, here in America, she’s been able to sleep peacefully for the first time in many years.

Then she said just two words in English, “thank you.”

In Wisconsin, Attorney General Brad Schimel has declined to say whether he would challenge Trump’s immigration restrictions. However, Schimel says he would consider legal action if he determined the president was overreaching.

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