Our congressional Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8th District) had the following to say on Trump’s executive order: “My first and most important job is protecting families in our region and the American people … We must be absolutely certain we have systems in place capable of thoroughly vetting anyone applying for refugee status on American soil.”
No, Mr. Reichert, discriminating against Muslims does not safeguard our community. You are contributing to hate and fueling the racist movement ignited by Mr. Trump that is quickly spreading in our communities. If you want to protect us, oppose this discriminatory ban, as it directly affects your constituents like I, who practice immigration law, providing services to individuals who are otherwise eligible and qualified to obtain both nonimmigrant and immigrants visas from Iran and Somalia.
I am also married to an Iranian man whose family members are awaiting immigrant visas, which will likely be delayed or denied because of this unjustified ban. I respectfully urge you to change your stance on this issue. Our community’s strength lies in everyone who comes together and contributes. Do not deny that large numbers of those individuals are immigrants and Muslims.
No one knows better than we in the immigration service field that there is an extremely thorough vetting process in place for refugees. I began representing a family from Honduras in 2009, I had a baby in 2010 and I actually was pregnant again with my second baby in 2012 when we finally won their asylum claim in court. Three years of vetting — how much more thorough can you get?