Los Angeles Chapter of Truman Project Responds to President Trump’s Planned and Expected Executive Orders on Immigration, Refugees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 27 January 2017

CONTACT: Jalina Porter, jporter@trumanproject.org

Los Angeles Chapter of Truman Project Responds to President Trump’s Planned and Expected Executive Orders on Immigration, Refugees

Los Angeles, CA -- In response to the executive orders released and expected to be released by President Trump on Wednesday and Friday of this week, the Los Angeles Chapter of the Truman National Security Project penned the below open letter, additionally signed by United States Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congressman Ted Lieu, and several other elected officials:

Dear President Trump,

Shortly after leading America to victory over fascism in World War II, President Harry Truman set down a marker for how the American people should respond to those fleeing violence and poverty for a better life.

The United States shares the responsibility to relieve the suffering. To the extent that our present immigration laws permit, everything possible should be done at once to facilitate the entrance of some of these displaced persons and refugees into the United States.” December 22, 1945

As elected officials and members of the Truman National Security Project in Los Angeles, we know that our pluralism is one of our greatest strengths. We believe that an ethical and principled approach to national security is not only the right choice, but the most effective at keeping us safe. We believe that what makes us shine also makes us mighty.

Living and working in one of the biggest melting pots on Earth, we take every threat to the United States as though it were a threat to our own families. While we welcome interest in improving and strengthening our immigration system, your current position on immigration will threaten families, cost millions of jobs and tax payers’ dollars, be ineffective, and undermine our security. It is against our economic, strategic and moral objectives. It represents an unprecedented departure from our noblest traditions of plurality, liberalism, and respect for the individual. We know that what makes America great -- what has always made America great -- is not its wealth or military power but its strength in diversity and generosity.

America has an economic interest in welcoming immigrants, including those seeking asylum. Immigrants buy homes, build communities, launch businesses, and expand our view of the rest of the world. They make us stronger. There would be no Apple or Google without immigrants. We would have been deprived of some of our greatest generals, business leaders, scholars, writers, entrepreneurs, and artists were it not for immigrants.

America has strategic interests in welcoming immigrants as well -- in fact, our place in the world is greatly enhanced by their presence. For those who worry that opening America to the world exposes us to terrorists and criminals, it is useful to recall that we have an effective mechanism for vetting immigrants. We can discuss measures to strengthen those mechanisms, but bans and walls will not make us stronger. When we turn away all immigrants and refugees with no discretion, we turn away from our own values -- and in the case of Muslims, we embrace the narrative of those who aspire to do us harm and push these immigrants into terrorists’ arms and rhetoric.

Finally, America has a moral interest in welcoming immigrants. That has always been our guiding principle, and it has served us admirably. To abandon that principle now is to abandon the ideal of America. We should also remember who is seeking asylum. As our Truman colleague, Seth Stodder, recently observed in Politico, many of those coming here include women and children seeking refuge from gang violence and poverty.

Few cities on this planet have benefited so handsomely from such a magnificent tapestry of newcomers as Los Angeles, which is in the middle of a renaissance. Skyscrapers are sprouting across downtown, Silicon Beach is drawing the biggest names in the tech world, and the arts scene is flourishing. All of this is due, in no small part, to the immigrants who have flocked here. They are doing exactly what immigrants have done in this country for so long: infusing the city with a new vibrancy and dynamism that makes Los Angeles one of the great hubs of commerce and culture in the 21st century. We are the third largest economic metropolitan area across the globe and it is in no small part due to our diversity.

In short, you would do well to remember the model that is Los Angeles in the days ahead -- and the many immigrants who have helped to make it. America’s interests depend upon it.

Sincerely,

U.S. State Representative Karen Bass
U.S. State Representative Adam Schiff
U.S. State Representative Ted Lieu
California State Treasurer John Chiang
California State Senator Ben Allen
Chair of California Latino Legislative Caucus
California Senator Ben Hueso
California State Senator Holly Mitchell
California State Senator Henry Stern
California State Assembly Member Richard Bloom
California State Assembly Member Cristina Garcia
California State Assembly Member Mike Gipson
California State Assembly Member Laura Friedman
California State Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian
California State Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell
California State Assembly Member Blanca Rubio
Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin
Los Angeles City Council Member Mike Bonin
Los Angeles City Council Member Bob Blumenfield
Los Angeles City Council Member Gil Cedillo
Los Angeles City Council Member Marqueece Harris Dawson
Los Angeles City Council Member Nury Martinez
Los Angeles Council Member David Ryu
Candidate for Los Angeles City Council Member Monica Rodriguez
West Hollywood Council Member Lindsey Horvath
LA Community College District Board Member Sydney Kamlager
Former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Border, Immigration & Trade Policy and Truman Member Seth Stodder
Social Justice Attorney and Truman National Security Project Los Angeles Political Partner Sandra Fluke
Truman National Security Project Los Angeles Chapter Director and Former Senior Advisor to Department of Energy Jaime Carlson
Truman National Security Project Los Angeles Chapter Co-Director Josh Lockman
Truman National Security Project Los Angeles Chapter Membership

Truman is a nationwide community, forged in the aftermath of 9/11, fighting for America's promise on the battlefield, along the campaign trail, and in the halls of government. We believe in a strong, smart, and principled foreign policy that sees the United States leading a growing community of nations towards shared security and prosperity.

Hailing from 16 chapters and 47 states across the nation, the more than 1,500 men and women in our community are veterans, frontline civilians, policy experts, and political professionals who share a com- mon worldview: America is strongest when we use all of our tools--defense, diplomacy, development, and democracy--to engage the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

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