Executive Orders Represent Divisive Policies Built on Fear of the Other

Press Release

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Islamophobic, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Native American, Anti-Women, and Anti-Environmental Executive Orders Represent Divisive Policies Built on Fear of the Other

Trump’s First Round of Executive Orders Are Grave Attack on our Democratic Institutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JANUARY 26, 2016/BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA. In less than a week since Donald Trump was inaugurated, he has signed a set of executive orders and memoranda that represent the new administration’s attempt to institutionalize and legalize exclusionary policies based on extreme Islamophobia, that stoke fear against and threaten our immigrant communities, that display a deep disregard for the tribal sovereignty and lives of Native Americans, that represent draconian efforts to control and limit the rights of women around the world, and that reveal the pursuit of an energy policy that runs directly counter to what is needed to pull our living planet back from climate-change disaster.
 
The set of policies signed in the Oval Office by Trump over the last six days are the latest illustration of what many see as a further dangerous slide into an authoritarian state which has deep overtones of white nationalism and neofascism. They threaten our fragile democracy. While Trump and his White House continue to tell lies about voter fraud, further policies to suppress the vote are enacted across our country. Scholars have noted that many of the actions Trump proposes may be illegal and even unconstitutional, though there is nothing yet to suggest that Trump cares about the law, the constitution, or the norms and values of a democratic society.
 
These are attempts to change the rules of the game. Our institutions, imperfect as they are, are being attacked. Our check and balance system is being attacked and many of our political leaders in the Republican and Democratic establishment are not rising to the occasion. However millions of people have expressed deep concern as evidenced by last weekend’s Women’s Marches, a tremendous mobilization of people around the world who took to the streets to express their opposition and concern about the new political administration and who continue to call publicly for a society and government based on values of inclusion and equality. Other expressions of support continue to form, including an upcoming march planned by scientists organizing to make the statement that "an American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world."
 
These expressions are necessary and inspire collective action. We must continue to build on them and go further. We must actively engage to rebuild and reclaim our democracy and its institutions. What might that look like? We may have different strategies and actions, but we must continue to place demands on our government to protect all people and we must remain unrelenting in resisting laws and forces that marginalize, expel, and threaten the safety and security of our fellow sisters and brothers. 

The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society is proud to work with a network of organizations on the front lines of fighting for racial, gender, Native, environmental, economic, and social justice. Below are excerpts from statements from many of our partners the deeply problematic actions coming from the Trump administration this past week.  

PICO
Faith Leaders to President Trump: Retaliating Against Cities that Offer Safe Havens for Undocumented Immigrants is Immoral
 
“Retaliating against local communities because they refuse to follow immoral policies is part of an emerging pattern of President Trump not only bullying people who dare to disagree with him, but isolating and further marginalizing people who are different than him. Such behavior is inconsistent with the long-held notion that America is a place of opportunity for all.”— Eddie Carmona, campaign director for PICO National Network’s LA RED campaign.
 
“In response to the many communities that may be targeted by the incoming administration, local communities should expand the definition of sanctuary to provide safe havens not only for undocumented immigrants, but for religious minorities and communities of color broadly. Rather than backing down in this moment, we hope cities will stand up for what is right.”— Bishop Dwayne Royster, political director for PICO National Network

Demos
Demos Responds to Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Executive Orders
“Today’s actions by President Trump– to not only undermine the authority of states and cities to offer sanctuary to immigrants, but  also to effectively ban Muslim refugees and force any Muslim immigrants to register – are direct assault on our democracy, and fly in the face of our national values. Instead of isolating our country and actively discriminating against our Muslim brothers and sisters, we need to build protective circles around the communities that President Trump seeks to target for expulsion and exclusion.”—Heather McGhee, President

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Condemns Executive Orders on Immigration
“President Trump’s executive actions are based on unfounded fears and the well-documented lie that immigrants are more likely to be criminals. As a nation, we are better than bigotry, hate and xenophobia. NCAPA firmly stands with immigrants and refugees and Muslim Americans—all of whom are an integral part of America. Many in our communities are targeted because they are considered ‘un-American,’ and we will not stand by while our communities continue to be attacked.” —National Director Christopher Kang

National Council of La Raza
NCLR Condemns Trump Attack on American Values
“Today, once again proving an unprecedented capacity to ignore the facts, flout the norms of public discourse, and declare open season on the nation’s immigrants and 55 million Americans of Hispanic descent, the Trump administration announced plans to move forward with building a wall on the Mexican border, ramp up deportations and go after cities refusing to transform their local law enforcement into immigration agents. Today, once again proving an unprecedented capacity to ignore the facts, flout the norms of public discourse, and declare open season on the nation’s immigrants and 55 million Americans of Hispanic descent, the Trump administration announced plans to move forward with building a wall on the Mexican border, ramp up deportations and go after cities refusing to transform their local law enforcement into immigration agents.”— NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía

Advancement Project  
Attacks on Voting Rights Are Intolerable, Must Be Condemned
“Buttressed on a lie, Trump is looking to make it harder to vote by questioning the integrity of our election system. This harkens back to some of the ugliest periods in our history, when people of color, especially Black people, had to fight our way to the ballot with our own bodies and our very lives. Although there are no facts, no evidence to support his claims, we can only expect that legislatures will take queues from Trump and use this as their excuse to make it to limit access to the ballot for some Americans. In this presidency of ‘alternative facts,’ we must stay vigilant and move beyond shock. The evidence is clear; the recent statements about voter fraud have no basis in fact, but instead are touted to cast a narrative to further restrict voting rights.”— Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project

Advancement Project
Turning Hatred and Xenophobia Into Policy Is Wrong, Immoral and Anti-American
"The announcement of such bigoted policies will serve as justification for the implementation of other forthcoming actions such as registrations, raids, detentions, and deportations of immigrants and refugees from Muslim countries, Central America, and beyond. With all that is coming down the pipeline, it is critical that we invest our energies in protecting our communities, and also building the relationships and bonds with each other across communities to fight back." - Fahd Ahmed, Executive Director, DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center
 
“It was clear from the beginning that the slogan, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was a call to white nationalists and a nod to exclusionary policies that target people of color. A ban on Muslim immigrants and the persecution of cities standing up for immigrants will be remembered as one of our country’s low points. Further, these actions cannot be divorced from Trump’s threat to further criminalize Black people by over-policing our communities. This moment demands that everyone – neighbors, supporters, everyday people, and especially those in power – come forward and reject the policies and rhetoric of hatred. We are a country that welcomes people seeking shelter." - Flavia Jiménez, Managing Director at Advancement Project’s national office and Program Director for Immigrant Justice

National Congress of American Indians
NCAI Expresses Concern with Presidential Actions to Short-Circuit Environmental Review Process for Dakota Access Pipeline
 “Indian Country has spoken loud and clear that we are not against development, but our legitimate rights as sovereign governments to be heard in the permitting process cannot be ignored. Tribal involvement is necessary to ensure that infrastructure projects benefit our communities without harming our lands, waters, and sacred places.”— NCAI President Brian Cladoosby

America's Voice and America's Voice Education Fund
Trump Launches His Deportation Force, Declares Open Season on Refugees, Immigrants, and American Families
“Trump is making radical, foundational changes to domestic and international policy by executive edict, acting more like a monarch than a President... By tripling the number of ICE agents, Trump is creating the mass deportation force he promised as a candidate, despite assurances made by Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans that there would be no such thing.  There’s no way around it: Trump is declaring open season on immigrants, refugees, Latino families, and other people of color in America.
 
By walling off the country from refugees and banning many Muslims from entering legally, Trump is not only undermining our values as a nation but sending a hateful message that will have dangerous consequences.  His policies will give fodder to anti-American extremists across the globe and encourage vigilantes at home to harm their neighbors.” — Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund