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How Change.org users are responding to President Trump’s immigration executive order

Jan 30, 2017

The immigration executive order President Trump signed on Friday afternoon led to large demonstrations at airports throughout the weekend as officials, lawyers and green-card holders struggled to determine its legal implications.

It also led to emergency meetings and heartbreaking scenes at airports, the White House and in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty at Battery Park on Sunday. The executive order bans travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for three months, suspends all refugee admission for four months and indefinitely bars Syrian refugees from entering the United States.

In response to the executive order, Change.org users have started more than 30 petitions focused on the “Muslim ban” issued by the Trump administration. Tarek Alsaied started a petition asking President Trump to reconsider banning Muslims from the United States, writing: “Banning Muslims from legally entering the United States may have very important and dangerous consequences. Many people from the countries included in your last order are active members of our community and have worked very hard to make this country one of the best nations in the world.”

Matt Zeller, co-founder of No One Left Behind — an organization that serves Afghan and Iraqi combat interpreters — also started a petition, “Exempt Wartime Interpreters from President Trump’s Executive Order Banning Immigration.” No One Left Behind notes that the executive order could prevent our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan from reaching safety, and could leave thousands of people to be hunted because of their service supporting American troops abroad.

And in Michigan, home to the nation’s only Muslim-governed city and one of the largest populations of Arab-Americans in the United States, Gretchen Whitmer of Lansing, Michigan has started a petition asking the state Attorney General to file suit challenging President Trump’s executive order. “Already there are Michigan residents whose constitutional rights have been violated by this ban,” she writes. “Michigan’s beautifully diverse population strengthens our communities and our economy. This band not only hurts our state, it violates our shared American values of religious freedom and equality.”

As this executive order makes its way through the U.S. judicial system, hundreds of people are still at risk of being detained and questioned at airports, turned away and sent back to war and violence, and being torn from their families and children. Across political parties, the executive order has also drawn sharp reactions. Republican Sen. John McCain called the executive order “a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism,” and Republican Sen. Susan Collins said the order runs “contrary to our American values.”

At Change.org, we continue to support the idea that no one is powerless and everyone can contribute to social change. As users continue to respond to President Trump’s immigration ban, we encourage you to start a petition asking for your lawmakers to take a stand on the executive order, or visit the topic page with more than 30 petitions started by Change.org users.