NOWCRJ to Defend Immigrants in the South Against Trump, Calls on Southern Mayors to Do the Same

On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders relating to immigration. Below is a statement by Saket Soni, Executive Director of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ) and National Guestworker Alliance (NGA):

“New Orleans’ bias-free policing and immigration detainer policies are in full compliance with federal law. President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities today focuses on compliance with 8 U.S. Code 1373, which both New Orleans policies meet. We do not expect this executive order to affect either policy or federal funding to New Orleans.

“New Orleans’ model policies are important because constitutional policing makes everyone safer. Our bias-free policing policy means that all New Orleanians, regardless of immigration status, can interact with law enforcement without fear that their immigration status will be used as a weapon against them. The policy improves community relations and lets all of us work together to keep our communities safe.

“However, we are deeply concerned by signs that the Trump administration plans to greatly expand an already expansive and cruel deportation regime. Canceling existing Department of Homeland Security priorities on deportation will mean sweeping up vast numbers of valuable, longstanding members of our communities without due process.

“This would threaten many New Orleans residents who have been longtime civil and human rights defenders and contributors to our communities. We will resist and defend their right to remain in the communities they helped rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

“We also stand against the racism, paranoia, and ugliness of Trump’s executive order blocking refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries. This cynical move will make America no safer. It puts hatred and fear ahead of America’s best traditions and highest ideals.

“The South has also been the birthplace of powerful movements and policies for civil and human rights that have helped the United States live up to its highest ideals. That’s the America that New Orleans’ immigrant communities have defended, and that’s the America that we and our allies will continue to fight for. We call on New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and mayors across the South to do the same. Our members and allies in the Southern region will continue to stand up for the country we know is possible. We know that our America, not Donald Trump’s America, will prevail.”

CONTACT: Audrey Stewart, 504-655-2092, astewart@nowcrj.org