Public News Service
Immigrant rights groups are stepping forward to help those affected by President Trump’s executive order barring entrance into the U.S. by refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Lawrence Benito, CEO and executive director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights, said people shouldn’t be subjected to this kind of discrimination. He said his organization is one of many offering free legal help.
“[We] Continue to fight and organize to make sure that immigrant voices are heard and respected,”Benito said. “We’re going to be asking our elected officials in our state to join us in this effort to push back against these executive orders.”
Attorneys have stationed themselves at airports around the country to help those affected by Trump’s travel ban. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the travel ban does not single out Muslims.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a congressman from suburban Chicago, said the president’s orders are dividing the country and distracting from important work that needs to be done.
“When you have laws or executive orders that come down the pipe that divide us, we’re not able to deal with the real challenges that affect all of us,” Krishnamoorthi said; “whether they’re economic, whether it’s climate change, whether it’s other issues that demand action.”
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has joined attorneys general from 14 other states and the District of Columbia in condemning as unconstitutional Trump’s ban. They said religious liberty has been a bedrock principle of the country and no president can change that.
The states taking part in the joint statement issued Sunday are Illinois, Washington, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Virginia, Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, New Mexico, Iowa, Maine and Maryland.