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Chicago Immigrant-Rights Groups Slam Trump's 'Racist' Executive Orders

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 25, 2017 9:00PM

Getty Images / Photo: Chip Somodevilla

A large and diverse coalition of immigrants rights groups gathered in the West Loop on Wednesday afternoon to denounce President Donald Trump's latest signed or expected executive action, which target undocumented immigrants and refugees.

The groups—including the Arab American Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Chicago, Organized Communities Against Deportations and many others—spoke out vehemently against Trump's orders to build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border, strip federal funding for sanctuary cities, suspend refugee admission and halt visas from seven majority-Muslim nations.

The groups spoke at 525 W. Van Buren St., which houses immigration court and the Chicago office of the Department of Homeland Security.

"Our communities have been bracing ourselves for these for a while now," said Hatem Abudayyeh, of the Arab American Action Network.

"The racist, anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-women, anti-poor people rhetoric that Trump rode to victory in the election was of course going to lead to vicious policies that affect the 99 percent every day," he added

Abudayyeh also noted that the United States is militarily engaged or has threatened engagement with each of the countries on the visa suspension list—which is expected to include Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and, Yemen—which makes citizens' of the those nations ability to flee all the more important.

The already sweeping executive anti-immigration executive orders will only lead to domestic policies that further target and isolate immigrant communities in the United States, Rosi Carrasco, of Organized Communities Against Deportations, worried.

"We are aware that these policies serve to demonize and target immigrant communities, as well as erode the hard fought-for protections that we have won over the years," Carrasco said in a press release. “We are worried that these executive orders also serve as a stepping-stone for more troubling policies that Trump has promised, including registries, raids, and deportations of Arab, Muslim, South Asian, African, and Latinx immigrants."

Chicago stands to lose more than $1 billion in annual federal funding in Trump's executive order.

The AAAN also said it is working to close loopholes in Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, a sentiment that also echoed by 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa in a statement released on Wednesday.