Breitbart, by Michael Patrick Leahy, January 31, 2017:
The National Partnership for New Americans convened a nationwide conference call on Monday to plot a panicked response to President Trump’s temporary 120-day ban on refugees from all countries, sources who were on the call tell Breitbart News.
Six hundred left wing activists on the call heard the organizers describe the Executive Order, Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, signed by Trump on Friday, as “underpinned by racism, anti-Blackness, anti-Muslim, xenophobia, Islamophobia based in the political rhetoric of hate and manipulation of ignorance,” one source said.
A key theme of the call was for everyone to have consistent messaging.
“It was very important for everyone to talk off the same script,” one source said the call organizers repeated throughout.
The Refugee Council USA, an umbrella association of about 22 member resettlement agencies, has talking points and other materials that will not be publicly available, but will be made available to the six hundred activists on the call, the call organizers said.
The call organizers also said they were promoting two national calls to action:
- This Friday, February 3, they are organizing “solidarity actions” at local mosques, where everyone shows up at a local mosque at noon for the Friday prayer to “show loud and clear that you stand against Islamophobia.”
- On February 22, when Congressmen are home on recess, they are holding rallies and demonstrations at the local offices of Senators and Congressmen to show that they represent diverse communities.
The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) describes itself as “a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership.”
We represent the collective power and resources of the country’s 37 largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 31 states. Our members provide large-scale services—from DACA application processing to voter registration to health care enrollment—for their communities, and they combine service delivery with sophisticated organizing tactics to advance local and state policy. We exist to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy.
A poll released by Rasmussen on Monday showed that 57 percent of likely voters in America support President Trump’s Executive Order, which also temporarily blocks the issuance of visas to citizens of seven Middle Eastern countries: Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. As Breitbart News reported earlier, 87 percent of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims live in countries that are not affected by this temporary visa block.
Despite the support of the majority of American voters for Trump’s Executive Order, the leaders of the NPNA urged the six hundred activists on the call to pressure members of Congress to speak out against it.
They also urged them to get members of local city councils and local legislatures to introduce “Welcoming Refugee and Immigrant” resolutions.
“You must link the national policy agenda to emotion through individual stories,” the six hundred activists on the call were told, a source tells Breitbart News.
The organizers said “there are 60,000 refugees already approved and in the pipeline for admission to the United States.”
“They are very very worried about the impact of the 120-day suspension, which will likely make many of the vettings already completed expire, and these people will have to start all over again,” one source tells Breitbart News.
“They are emphasizing local coalitions and local action with in ten key states, and will focus their political efforts on helping mayors of large cities in those states fight the executive order, both legally and politically,” the source said.
The NPNA organizers “are providing training to leaders in the refugee fight against anti-refugee initiatives.” Those actions include:
- Calling for community dialogues to change hearts and minds.
- Parading refugee stories to places of worship.
- Asking more people to volunteer with refugee resettlement agencies.
“One caller, who identified himself as a pastor, said the Executive Order was a direct assault on faith practice and that working with refugees is a critical element of faith practice,” a source tells Breitbart News.
The pastor suggested two actions for fellow pastors on the call:
- Calling a press conference to support Muslim freedom to practice religion.
- Try to be “caught in public” in photographs and videos with a diverse group of people.
The call organizers were especially concerned about the provision of the Executive Order that allows state and local governments veto refugee resettlement within their jurisdictions.
One local organizer said that anti-immigrant and anti-refugee forces were testing out their worst policies in Tennessee, but in the face of that a “powerful intersectional movement has grown in Tennessee” that is building durable alliances and effective defenses.
The call organizers are also “concerned about the Executive Order making it much more difficult for asylum claims mainly for Haitians, Cubans, Africans and Central Americans,” one source tells Breitbart News.
“They read the Executive Order as emphasizing that the law will be applied in its literal meaning and doing so will mean that those trying to get asylum will not be able to meet the criteria,” the source adds.