NO BAN: The Middle East & North Africa Stand Against Hate and Discrimination.

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OPEN LETTER FROM AMERICANS AND LOCAL NATIONALS IN THE MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA

We, the undersigned, are a diverse collective of Americans and local nationals living in countries impacted by the recent travel and entry ban. We are refugees, immigrants, descendants of refugees and immigrants, students, educators, researchers, journalists, as well as legal and humanitarian professionals.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Trump administration’s immoral, illegal, and discriminatory executive order barring the U.S. entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspending all refugee resettlement. The order has already adversely affected thousands of visa and green card holders, dual nationals, and refugees—many of whom are already legally vetted and living in the U.S. There is no evidence that barring these individuals will improve national security. In fact, nationals of the seven countries singled out haven’t killed a single person in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in the last 40 years. Instead, the ban is tearing families apart and preventing students, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and survivors of American wars from contributing to American society. As residents of countries directly impacted by this ban, we unequivocally reject the racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia it represents.

It is our moral imperative to stand in solidarity with those affected by the executive order, and with all immigrants and refugees. Many of us are American participants and alumni of U.S. government programs in Muslim-majority countries including the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), and the Fulbright Program. We also work for international organizations and nonprofits. We are dismayed that the Trump administration is undermining these programs’ values of cultural diplomacy and peace building. We work directly with refugees, one of the groups most negatively impacted, who have persevered through years of war and poverty. While we enjoy the privilege of traveling to and from the U.S., our beloved friends, peers, colleagues, and clients are denied freedom and safety merely because of where they were born.

We cannot stay silent in the face of such a flagrant disregard for human rights and dignity. We commit to leveraging our networks and resources to support immigrants and refugees. We vow to amplify the voices of those most impacted, solidify cross-cultural friendship and collaboration, fundraise for grassroots organizations, and advocate for ending discriminatory policies. The only adequate solution is a complete rescinding of this executive order. We will continue to do everything in our power to resist the institutionalization of fear and hate.

 



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