UPDATE: Thousands across the country continue to take to the streets or head to airports to protest President Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban. Click here to find an action near you.
After bracing for the worst, it’s finally here. Every day since he was inaugurated, Donald Trump has taken steps to implement more of his hate-filled, fear-mongering agenda. Just this week, he began moving forward with a ban on refugees, a wall along the Mexico-US border, a suspension of visas for anyone from particular Middle Eastern and African countries, and cuts to federal funding for sanctuary cities.
Trump’s divisive and harmful executive actions are intended to instill fear among us. Instead, they’ve inspired defiance. Thousands of people gathered at emergency rallies Wednesday night across the country, including in front of the White House in Washington, DC, and in Washington Square Park in New York City. Smaller rallies also popped up in neighborhoods such as Kensington in Brooklyn.
With so much happening, how can we continue to support immigrants, Muslims, and refugees? Here are five steps you can take to support communities targeted by the Trump administration:
1. Call Your Elected Officials, Including the President
Oh, wait. You can’t call the president because the White House has temporarily shut down its comments line. In the meantime, let the president know how you feel by way of e-mail.
More importantly, contact your senators and representatives. Call the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be directed to your representatives. It is important to tell the operator why you are calling and what issue you’re calling about. Urge them to protect immigrants, Muslims, and refugees. You can also use a tool created by Make the Road NY to contact your senators on Facebook and Twitter.
2. Learn More About What’s at Stake
This is just Trump’s first week and we can no doubt expect more anti-immigrant actions in the coming months. For one, he could end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The program, signed by former President Obama, provides young people who immigrated to the United States as children of undocumented migrants provisional protection from deportation, work permits, and authorization to drive. In some states, DACA also allows students to be counted as residents of their home state and makes them eligible for in-state college tuition. It’s not immediately clear when or if Trump plans to target this population but his staunchly anti-immigrant stance definitely worries those who’ve benefited from the program. “DACA is the kind of short-term program that underlines the precariousness of executive actions, on one hand, and the perilousness of undocumented life on the other,” writes Julianne Hing at The Nation. Check out her article “Fear and Fight in the Final Days of DACA” for more on DACA.