Sunday, February 5, 2017

Letter to Stop the Muslim Ban

February 5, 2017 

Dear Senator Kaine, Senator Warner, and Representative Scott,

I am writing today to urge you to direct Customs & Border Protection to end detention and return of refugees, and persons based solely on their religion and national origin to rescind President Trump’s Executive Order.

As a Virginian with a strong belief in Jeffersonian-democracy, we should live in a society where religious freedom is protected. The Executive Order is an anti-democratic, unconstitutional step that breaks the line between church and state. Our country does not require religious and/or value tests to determine whether a human life is worth saving and access to equal opportunity. Classification and identification based on national origin has been used as a pretext to exclude persons based on religion, regardless of whether the population is actually or perceived to be Muslim.  We should live in a society where people are free to be who they are, and free from judgment because of where they were born and how they pray.

This is a Muslim ban because Section 5(f) of the Executive Order clearly states “State and DHS can continue to process refugees with religious persecution claims, if they are part of a religious minority, while the suspension of the resettlement is underway as they conduct their security review.” This demonstrates that the Administration’s focus is not national security, as Christians are still allowed to enter the country during the 120 day ban. As a Christian, I find this appalling and a clear divide from how Jesus calls us to “do to others as you would have them do to you.” 

There is no empirical evidence to support that the Muslim ban will actually secure our nation. With the strong vetting process already in place for refugees, I believe the existing system will fulfill our national security needs. Also, why wasn't Saudi Arabia included in this list as they were the home of the majority of the 9-11 hijackers and Bin Laden? Historically programs with sweeping powers to exclude people based on nationality, race, ethnic origin or religion have proven to be ineffective. From the Japanese internment camps to the denial of Jewish refugees during WWII, we have seen how history will view those who use fear to abandon the American principle as a haven for those in need. 

Welcoming people escaping persecution secures our nation. Asylees and refugees are victims of human rights abuses, and the most susceptible to human rights violators and perpetrators that commit violence against women, ethnic killings, and persecution. By welcoming sales and refugees we prevent human rights abuses from happening, we protect them.

I urge you to take all and any means necessary to move Congress to direct Customs & Border Protection to end detention and return of refugees and to rescind this Executive Order. I will fully support you if you have to take a douche-style Ted Cruz rant to shut down the government to keep this from progressing further. 

Please contact me at (phone) or (email) if you would like to discuss further.


Garet Prior 

Richmond, Virginia 23225