Hundreds expected at immigration ban protest
ELIZABETH - Over a dozen New Jersey organizations will join together on Sunday to rally against President Trump's executive order temporarily banning refugees from some Muslim countries from entering the United States.
Make The Road New Jersey, an Elizabeth-based immigrant rights and advocate group expects hundreds at Sunday's event at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Elizabeth Detention Center on Evans Avenue. The event starts at 3 p.m, according to spokeswoman Sara Cullinane.
Participating groups include the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, 32BJ SEIU, the Muslim Community Center of Union County, Immigrant Rights Clinic, Rutgers Law School, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc., New Jersey Working Families Alliance, Community of Friends in Action, the NJ Muslim Coalition, the NJ Interfaith Coalition, CAIR New Jersey, the NJ Muslim Voters Project and the American Muslim Council
Make the Road helped bring over 120 people to Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday to denounce the new president's immigration order and brought in lawyers to help those who were detained. "We sprang into action and people all over the state joined us as part of an outpouring of support and serious concern and dismay and fear over President Trump's executive order," Cullinane said.
After the rally Make the Road plans to works towards getting the executive order permanently reversed and "working locally and at the state level to push for pro-immigrant policies so New Jersey and our towns and cities and counties stand up against deportation and protecting the population." Cullinane said.
CAIR Executive Director James Suez said the ban "represents a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ policy directed at Muslims. "It sends a terrible message to the international community" and has "no logical rational."
"There have been no acts of terror committed on US soil by visa holders from these seven countries. This entire action is based on fears stoked during the presidential campaign. We should govern ourselves not by fear but by the constitution," Suez said in a statement.
Suez called the order "heartless and selfish" and said that "refugees entering the US are already the most vetted class of immigrant. The process typically takes 18 months to 2 years. Refugees are victims, the most in need, and we should not be turning our backs on them."
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker tweeted that "this Executive Order violates our values and assaults our moral standing as a nation. I will fight this, we must fight this." In a separate tweet, Booker expressed his opposition in a video. "We must stand up against Donad Trump's executive order. He is turning his back on our history on who we are as a people," Booker said. "He is shrinking the American greatness. I believe that can't happen. We now as Americans must condemn this executive order and tell the truth about who we are. That truth must march on."
Booker also showed up at Dulles International Airport outside Washington early Sunday morning following a judge's order banning anyone from being deported according to WTOP.
Rep. Frank Pallone said his office has received many phone calls about the order and so far has not received any answers from the administration.
Rep. Bonnie Watson-Coleman, who did not attend Trump's inauguration, called the executive order an "irrational action" that is " contrary to the national security interests of the United States. His actions are not only discriminatory and bigoted, but also reckless, dangerous and counterproductive to any authentic effort to defeat terrorism.
GOP Rep. Leonard Lance on his Facebook page wrote "the President’s current travel ban executive order appears rushed and poorly implemented. Reports of green card holders and those who assisted us in the War on Terror being denied or delayed entry into the U.S. is deeply concerning and must be remedied immediately."
"With the stroke of a pen, President Trump’s action has undermined the core values that built this country. It is profoundly un-American to turn away those fleeing horrific violence and persecution or to discriminate against people based on nationality and religion. More than half of the millions of vulnerable citizens seeking refuge from Syria are children, who are today trapped between a brutal regime and violent extremist groups," wrote Sen. Robert Menendez on his Facebook page.
First Congressional district congressman Donald Norcross tweeted "we are a nation of immigrants with a Constitution that protects religious freedoms. We must maintain those values to keep our nation safe, but this Executive Order, signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day, does the opposite."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com
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