|Korean-Americans at Dulles Airport. [NAKASEC]|
Local organizations that aid immigrants have denounced President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from any country.
Those groups, along with elected officials, including Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Don Beyer, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and Attorney General Mark Herring, participated in a protest against Trump’s order at Dulles International Airport Jan. 28.
Trump’s order goes against American values and the United States Constitution and will be counterproductive in that it will encourage the spread of ISIS, said Genie Giao Nguyen, president of Voice of Vietnamese Americans.
The barring of refugees for 120 days, including those fleeing war in Syria, is “baseless, inhumane, and against the core principle” of the U.S., which has been “a nation of refugees and immigrants since 1776,” Nguyen said.
Just Neighbors, a nonprofit based in Annandale that aids immigrants and refugees, denounced Trump for referring to immigrants as “invaders and criminals.” According to the organization, “Our American values and laws dictate that everyone receive a just and fair process, whether they have been in in this country for decades or are arriving at our border today in search of safety and protection.”
The Tahira Justice Center, a group based in Seven Corners that provides legal assistance to immigrant woman and children fleeing violence, says Trump’s order “will make it difficult for immigrant women and children who are entitled to protection under well-established current law to access those protections.” As a result, they will be “more vulnerable to exploitation as victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, rape, and gender-based persecution.”
The Legal Aid Justice Center, with offices in Bailey’s Crossroads, has been fighting the order in the courts. The center filed a complaint on behalf of two Yemeni brothers who arrived at Dulles hours after Trump signed the order with plans to live with their father in Michigan. They were illegally denied entry to the United States despite having immigrant visas issued by the U.S. government entitling them to lawful permanent resident status.
Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia subsequently issued a temporary restraining order barring the deportation of people with green cards detained at Dulles and required they be given access to lawyers.
Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees, “is offensive and counter to what defines this country,” states a tweet from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova. “We are a nation of immigrants committed to religious freedom. I am committed to keeping Fairfax County a safe and welcoming place.”