DEARBORN (WWJ) — Following protests against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, community leaders in Dearborn gathered on Monday night to discuss what comes next.
The meeting was organized by the Arab-American Civil Rights League, where many people were spoke about how they are discouraged by Trump’s controversial ban on allowing people from seven different predominantly Muslim countries into the United States.
Dearborn Heights councilman Dave Abdallah said that America’s history of accepting immigrants is important to keep in mind. He said that more discussions, more rallies and more lawsuits are all on the table.
“You cannot take a whole country or a whole ethnicity or a whole religion and just say, completely, they cannot come into the country,” Abdallah said. “There are a lot of immigrants here in this country that have had great success in this country and contributed to this country. That’s what it’s built on and that’s what it’s going to continue to be built on.”
Protests broke out in cities around the country this weekend after Trump’s executive order resulted in people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya being detained at U.S. airports.
“What’s going on just creates hate and it fuels those people who doesn’t like America and who doesn’t like the American values to do things in the Middle East and even in America against us and against our great country,” one Dearborn small business owner said at the meeting.
The order indefinitely stopped Syrian refugee and immigrant entry into the U.S., suspended all refugee entry for four months and suspended refugee admissions for three months. Community activist Hussain Hachem, 28, said at the meeting that legal action is needed.
“I don’t see the ban as an assault on Muslims, I see the ban as an assault on our Constitution,” Hachem said. “Our Constitution honors diversity, honors the right of anyone who wants to enter the United States to goes through the process and be basically either rejected or accepted, but just based on law, not just based on biased opinion and hate.”
Fouad Ashkar, member of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce, said the ban isn’t just unfair — it’s unclear.
“The community is really outraged about all of this, they are not happy [with] what’s going on,” Ashkar said. “It’s a really horrible move and we don’t like this move. We feel it’s not fair and it’s really discrimination of us. I am a Muslim-American and we’ve been good citizens in this country for the last 40 years — a lot of people that are here — but we feel that this isn’t really the way to go about it.”