Sarah Kate Purnell
On Friday, January 27 hundreds of citizens rallied in Durham, NC to oppose President Trump’s newly signed executive orders regarding immigration and refugees.
More than 200 citizens gathered in Greensboro late last week to rally against the executive orders, as well.
The executive orders will work to ban refugees and immigrants from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Trump describes the order as an “extreme vetting” of immigrants.
Local organizations that support and represent immigrants, refugees and Muslim communities gathered to rally against the executive order. More citizens gathered to stand alongside their Durham and Greensboro neighbors to show their support and opposition to the order, as well.
“Somalian refugee Muktar Muktar told the crowd it took several years after fleeing Somalia and then living in a Kenyan refugee camp before he finally came to Durham.” Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan of the News & Observer describes. “Many refugees have spent so many years in camps in other countries that there is nowhere for them to go back to, he said
Many citizens that attended the rallies held signs that read phrases such as, “No human being is illegal” and “We also have a dream”.
The rally was organized by the Durham off of Church World Service refugee-resettlement agency in Durham and the Greensboro Socialists in Downtown Greensboro.
“Any announcement that would deny refugee resettlement based on an individual’s country of origin would run counter to our most basic values as a nation,” said Ellen Andrews, the director of Church World Service in Durham to WRAL.
“We come here today to urge the new administration to affirm policies that keep families together, help separated families reunite and prioritize protection and safety for those who are in danger,” Andrews said.
Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan addressed the concerns of the executive order during a Greensboro rally. She expressed that police officers ensured her nothing would change. “That our police officers are not ICE officers” Fox8 recorded Vaughan stating.
Jeff Shaw reported to the News & Observer that he attended the Durham rally because he wished to support America as a welcoming place.
‘“America is a nation of immigrants,” Shaw said. “and refugees want what we all want: a place to call home.’”
Shaw held a sign reading “Welcome All Refugees”.
“For the richest nation on earth to turn away refugee children fleeing war is the height of moral cowardice,” Shaw shared with the News&Observer. “How can you see the pictures coming out of Syria and not want to make those kids safe?”
City Councilman Charlie Reece also attended the Durham rally.
“There is no official definition of what a ‘sanctuary city’ is, but rather a constellation of policies,” Reece stated. “We’re going to do everything we can do to protect the people of this city.”