The Week Ahead: Jan. 30- Feb. 3

Communications Associate

January 30, 2017


“The way to fight terrorists is not by closing our doors — or hearts — to their victims.”

— Robert P. George, noted conservative, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, Jan. 28


Concerns about Immigration Executive Orders Span Political Spectrum

President Donald Trump’s immigration-related executive orders last week are eliciting concern and pushback from Republicans as well as Democrats.

Faith, law enforcement and business leaders from across the country have spoken about the orders’ impact close to home. Law enforcement leaders discussed their concerns that the executive order on interior enforcement would harm community policing efforts.

And faith leaders, including evangelical Christians, Catholics and Mormons, have objected to Friday’s order freezing all refugee admissions for 120 days and at least temporarily halting migration from certain Muslim-majority countries.

Refugees, immigrants and visitors have been returned to their countries of origin, have not been permitted to board flights to the U.S. and have been detained at airports across the country. Business leaders and Republican officials are among those who have criticized the ban. Five judges have issued stays on the order.

Forum policy summaries are available for the president’s executive orders on border security, interior enforcement and refugee resettlement and visa processing.

Local leaders also are speaking about the value and importance of immigrants to their communities in light of potential additional executive orders restricting or ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and various legal immigration visa programs.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Vote on Attorney General Nominee

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet Tuesday to consider the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) for United States attorney general.

In addition to existing questions for Sessions because of his longstanding opposition to immigration reform and his skepticism toward even legal immigration, senators must ask Sessions about his role in last week’s executive orders on immigration.

The Judiciary Committee vote is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. If the committee proceeds with the vote and approves, a full Senate vote would follow.

English Language Training Program for Retail Sector Launches its Second Year

Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce, a project of the Forum that provides contextualized English language training for retail sector employees, begins its second year this week.

The leading-edge retail industry project trains employees at Kroger, Publix and Whole Foods through funding from the Walmart Foundation. Nearly 1.5 million retail workers in the United States have limited English proficiency, and this program seeks improvement for the benefit of the employers’ competitiveness as well as the employees’ advancement.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


POLITICO: Christian groups oppose Trump’s preference for Christian refugees
By Elana Schor and Seung Min Kim
Jan. 29, 2017

A broad coalition of Christian leaders and evangelical groups spoke out against President Donald Trump’s move to rein in immigration from certain majority-Muslim nations, an outcry that risks undercutting the White House’s case for an executive order under siege from protesters and Democrats.

In a letter to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence obtained by POLITICO, the Christian groups implored the two leaders to reverse course on the refugee ban in particular – one of several prongs in Trump’s far-reaching executive order issued late Friday that has triggered international mayhem, especially at airports.

The groups note that as evangelicals who work extensively with refugees, they are “troubled” by Trump’s executive order and urged the White House to “reconsider these decisions, allowing for resettlement of refugees to resume immediately.” In addition to the temporary halt on immigrants from the seven predominantly Muslim nations, the Trump order halts all refugees into the United States for 120 days and indefinitely bars refugees from Syria.

Read more:

WASHINGTON EXAMINER (Editorial): Scrap this half-baked immigration order and start over
Jan. 29, 2017

President Trump’s counterterrorism executive order keeping out many refugees, immigrants, visitors, and even residents demonstrated how shoddy policymaking can have grave political, moral, and security consequences.

Acting on Trump’s new executive order, border officials on Saturday detained people at airports who had already been granted entry visas. They also detained some lawful permanent residents who unluckily booked their flights back home to the U.S. for the day after Trump’s hasty rule.

This is inhumane, unjust and irrational.

Trump should put the rule on ice, go through the proper rule-making process and issue a sensible written rule with appropriate input from the nation’s homeland security, law enforcement and counterterrorism officials. If he won’t, congressional Republicans should intervene until, to borrow a phrase from the president, “our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”

The executive order halts for 90 days all travel to America from seven terrorist-infested countries, halts indefinitely all entry from Syria, and suspends for 120 days any entry of refugees from anywhere in the world.

Read more:

MEDIUM (Noorani Post): America is better than this
By Ali Noorani
Jan. 29, 2017

In Hans F. Loeser, I met more than a lawyer. I came to deeply admire a civil rights leader, a war hero, a refugee.

Now, as the Trump administration takes action to bar refugees based on their religion, turning away war heroes at the border, Hans’ story weighs heavy on my mind.

Through our conversations in 2007, and the pages of his memoir, I learned of Hans’ family’s department store in Kassel, Germany, and the increasing drumbeat (and violence) of anti-Semitism that led his parents to send him to a boarding school London in 1938.

In 1940, Hans arrived in the U.S. as a refugee and reunited with his parents, who had barely escaped Nazi Germany. Just two years later, after earning American citizenship in the midst of World War II, Hans volunteered with the U.S. Army.

Initially viewed with suspicion because of his German ancestry, Hans eventually found his way to the “Ritchie Boys,” a group of young men trained at Maryland’s Camp Ritchie to serve as intelligence officers. Chosen for their linguistic and cultural expertise, many of the Ritchie Boys were Jewish refugees from Germany.

Read more: