FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 3, 2017
Contact: Liuba Grechen Shirley
New York’s 2nd District Democrats
Long Islanders Rally, Tell Rep. Peter King No Ban No Wall!
Uniting against xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia
MASSAPEQUA PARK, NY – Long Island organizations and residents came together today in a demonstration of unity against President Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning refugees indefinitely from Syria and temporarily from other Muslim majority countries. Constituents marched in front of Rep. Peter King’s district office to protest his support of this Executive Order. It is unconstitutional, Un-American, and illegal. This rally united individuals and organizations against Islamaphobia, xenophobia, and racism. Residents marched in solidarity with members of the Muslim community unfairly targeted because of their religious beliefs. They marched in support of the refugees fleeing war-torn countries leaving everything they had with little or nothing on their backs risking their lives in search of a better future. They marched to uphold American values. America is a nation built by immigrants. We are all immigrants. Long Islanders called on President Trump to reverse his hateful, anti-refugee and anti-immigrant executive order, and District 2 constituents called on Rep. Peter King to denounce this executive order.
Representatives from a diverse coalition of organizations attended, including New York’s 2nd District Democrats (NY02Dems), ATLI, The Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC), Long Island Activists, Together We Will-LI, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Long Island MoveOn.org, Islamic Center of Long Island.
"Trump has banned immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim countries, excluding countries with Trump properties. He has prioritized Christian over Muslim refugees. He has selected a white supremacist, with a history of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric, as his chief strategist and has now appointed him to our National Security Council. Long Islanders won't stand for this. This is not about safety, as he claims. Refugees are subjected to two years of extreme vetting, and are the victims not perpetrators of terrorism. This ban does not protect us; it makes us less safe. Two years ago, Rep. Pete King said that Trump's Muslim ban ‘really goes beyond American values.’ Today he supports it. King knows better and so do his constituents. We call on Peter King to stand with us for American values and denounce this Executive Order," said Liuba Grechen Shirley, founder and chief organizer of New York's 2nd District Democrats.
“Pete King’s support of the Muslim Ban does not represent the inclusive community of the 2nd district and its appreciation and celebration of its Muslim immigrant community. This policy is blatantly discriminatory and goes against everything that makes us American. It's shameful and unacceptable,” said Julia Fenster, founder and chief organizer of ATLI.
“Families are being separated and there are real consequences to this ban. I know of people who cannot visit their loved ones who are sick and elderly and this hurts us very badly,” said Habeeb Ahmed of Islamic Center of Long Island. “This country was made great by immigrants so let’s continue that.”
"President Trump showed his true colors and issued radical, sweeping Executive Order that upend our immigration system and strike at the heart of our American values. These orders create a massive federal and state law enforcement deportation force to track down and deport immigrants and will rip apart American families, destabilize our communities and make us less safe" stated Lisa Tyson, Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition.
"Donald Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban, along with his plans to build a wall on the Mexican border, are cruel attempts to scapegoat marginalized, vulnerable people. We call on Rep. King to withdraw his support for these radical proposals, which are out of step with the views of his constituents and with the American way of life. These policies are an affront to our most fundamental values as Jews and as Americans and will do nothing to make us safer. Not only is the Muslim ban in conflict with Jewish and American traditions of valuing freedom, diversity and opportunity, it excludes countries where Trump has extensive business ties. Such a clear conflict of interest for the President is further proof that he puts himself first and average Americans last,” said Rachel Ackoff, Deputy Field Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action.
“Republican representatives, the President, and his nominees should submit to the same extreme vetting process as victims seeking refugee status. Then we might actually be safe from terrorism,” said Christine DiBartolo Pellegrino, Steering Committee Co-Chair of Long Island Activists.
New York’s 2nd District Democrats (NY02Dems) is a constituent-based group dedicated to reenergizing the Democratic base, mobilizing district two residents, flipping our district, and ensuring that President Trump’s election is the spark that ignites the strongest, most unified social justice movement our country has ever seen.
ATLI is a vibrant community of citizens who are agents of social change, amplifying activism through awareness building and social action.