This week, we will focus our actions on the inhumane, extreme, heartbreaking and un-american executive orders on immigration.
Sanctuary cities: Trump’s administration will deny federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities where law enforcement authorities to not cooperate with targeting undocumented immigrants for deportation. The language on who can be deported is “remarkably broad,” says U-Va. professor David Martin in this article. And it’s particularly hypocritical as many of these cities are in states that are net donors to the federal government. Municipal authorities in a number of these cities are courageously standing up to Trump. We must support them and the undocumented families they’re protecting.
Ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries: Trump’s workaround to impose a “Muslim ban” is incredibly shameful, and has already ripped families apart. He’s issued a blanket ban on immigrants from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq (several of which countries were are currently bombing). He’s also said that Christians from these countries will be given priority. The biggest problem with this executive order is that it is inhumane and wrong. Another problem with this approach is that it’s likely to inflame terrorist and extremist threats, rather than make America safer.
The wall: Trump and his enablers have estimated this symbol of hate and division will cost $12-15 billion (not including maintenance and related costs), though more realistic estimates are substantially higher. Furthermore, immigration experts and even a Republican from Texas working on the border insist it would be largely ineffective. And the order is already causing serious problems with our allies (the president of Mexico has canceled a visit). In sum, this is a hateful, counter-productive waste of money that is a physical symbol of America closing itself off to the world and denying its history.
PRIORITY: Call your members of Congress about immigration
Adapted from: WhatshouldIcallabout.com, a website by trusted PAGE Advisor Katie Casey.
Tips for Calling your representative:
If you’re feeling awkward about it before, practice with another PAGE group member
Remember: Your Member of Congress (MoC) works for YOU. Don’t be intimidated by who picks up the phone.
Don’t let them pass you to an intern. Demand to speak to a staff member. Mention that you can tweet or facebook about the MoC not treating you well if they do otherwise.
Beginner Level Script
Simple script: “My name is [your name], I’m a constituent from [your town] and I’m calling to ask Representative/Senator So-and-So to introduce legislation overturning President Trump’s cruel and unconstitutional executive orders on refugee resettlement and entry by people from Muslim-majority countries. The orders do nothing to make us safer, but they’re tearing apart families and throwing people’s lives into chaos, while slamming the door on refugees fleeing war and terror. I hope Representative/Senator So-and-so will act immediately to overturn this ban. Thank you.”
Level 2 Script (If you’re beginning to get the hang of making calls, give this a try!)
You: “Hi, my name is [your name], I’m a constituent from [your town]. I’m calling to ask what Representative/Senator So-and-So is doing to stop President Trump’s executive orders on refugees and Muslim immigrants.”
Them: [If your Senator/Rep is a Democrat, they’ve almost certainly made some kind of statement that they might tell you. If they’re a Republican, they might say they support it, or that they’re looking into it, or something similarly wishy-washy.]
You, if they oppose it: “I’m glad to hear they oppose the executive order, but that isn’t enough when families are being torn apart and refugees are being turned back at the airport. When will the Representative/Senator be introducing legislation to overturn this order?”
Them: I’m not sure if the Representative/Senator is considering legislative options to address this but I can certainly pass on your concerns.
You: I really hope the Representative/Senator will take quick action. Every hour this order is in effect is an hour that green card holders are kept from their families and refugees are kept in dangerous situations.
You, if they support it: “I’m horrified that the Representative/Senator hasn’t taken a strong stance against this. Trump’s executive orders are cruel and unconstitutional. Turning away desperate refugees and tearing apart families doesn’t make us safer.
Them: I can certainly pass that along for you.
You: Thank you, but I don’t want you to just pass my concerns along. I want to know what the Senator/Representative is doing about this. [Here’s a good place to share a story - if you have a friend who’s impacted, for example. If you are living abroad and now feel unsafer. There’s plenty of articles going around about people, including long-term US residents, who have been turned away or detained. You might also look if the representative spoke out against Trump’s Muslim ban during the campaign - many did, and very few have spoken up now. If the member of congress is Christian and is public about having “Christian Values” you might also cite the story of the good samaritan, or this quote from Exodus 22:21: You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.”
2. PRIORITY: DONATE to an organization on the front lines of this. Your PAGE chapter may choose to all give together to maximize impact at one place:
Once you donate, SHARE that you did so on social media to increase your impact.
3. PRIORITY: Show support on social media for immigration reform
a) Many of our members are US-Americans living abroad, benefiting from the hospitality of other nations while we watch our nation shut down its borders. We need to tell the world that this is not who we are, and that we are doing everything to fight it.
Facebook, Tweet, or instagram a photo of yourself or your group, holding a message about why you stand against Trump’s actions against immigration and refugees this week. Please use the hashtag #turnthePAGE or tag us at @PAGEofdemocracy so we can keep track of activity. It will be more powerful if we all make a statement together.
Use popular hashtags like #resist, #nobannowall, #refugeeswelcome, so that your post gets more attention.
Suggested messages for your sign:
US-Americans abroad say: Humanity first, NOT America First. We pledge to act in solidarity with those impacted by Trump’s draconian, inhumane and shameful acts this week #wearePAGE
I’m a US-American abroad, here to tell the world that my president DOES NOT reflect who we are #refugeeswelcome #nobannowall #wearePAGE
I’m a US-American abroad, who has been welcomed into [insert country]. Today I’m infuriated, heartbroken, and ashamed of our president. #refugeeswelcome #nobannowall #wearePAGE
US-Americans abroad love the world and condemn the #muslimban #wearePAGE
Notice to world: US-Americans are fighting Trump! We want an open America and will FIGHT for it! #wearePAGE
Citizens around the world are calling on the USA to build #bridgesnotwalls #refugeeswelcome #resist #wearePAGE
#AmericaFirst is NOT how Americans abroad see the world!! We will fight to make the world welcome in America! #resist #wearePAGE
Immigration= America’s past, present, and future! I stand with immigrants and pledge to take action in solidarity with you. #wearePAGE
President Trump, your draconian executive orders have caused damage around the world, but we pledge to build #bridgesnotwalls #wearePAGE
b) Please remember:
Please avoid profanity. A little humor might work, but also please be sensitive and remember that some people are in very real danger. (Exception: if you are working in solidarity with Mexicans or Central Americans or Latin Americans, you can use #fuckingwall.)
Be creative and come up with a message that reflects who you are and how you feel. If in doubt about a message, ask how a refugee or immigrant family might feel reading your message.
Remember: you may get trolled; if you choose to use a photo may be noticed by the Trump administration and his supporters. But don’t forget that millions of people are standing up to Trump, and are all safer when we take act together. If you have privilege, it’s really, really important to use to to support those who don’t.
Be mindful of the laws about social media and political expression where you are, and the risks you may be taking when you post in your local context. Avoid doing anything that will get you in trouble locally! (We cannot provide you any legal advice or support here, or in general.)
c) When you’re done, follow PAGE on Twitter, @PAGEofdemocracy and “like” us on Facebook to keep up with what others around the world are doing (Progressive Action, Global Exchange - PAGE)
4. Betsy Devos : Continue to take action! Our resistance is working, and Devos’ nomination has been postponed until the 31st. Take the script below and personalize it, adding it why it matters to you.
From the 65
****Note: If your senator sits on the Education Committee, refer to the committee when you call. If not, simply refer to the senator.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Alexander (TN), Enzi (WY), Burr (NC), Isakson (GA), Paul (KY), Collins (ME), Cassidy (LA), Young (IN), Hatch (UT), Roberts (KS), Murkowski (AK), Scott (SC), Murray (WA), Sanders (VT), Casey, Jr (PA), Franken (MN), Bennet (CO), Whitehouse (RI), Baldwin (WI), Murphy (CT), Warren (MA), Kaine (VA) & Hassan (NH)
**** Hello, can I please speak to the staff member in charge of education policy?
I'm <______>, a constituent. I'm <an educator / a parent / an advocate for education> and I want <Senator ____ or the Committee> to stop Betsy DeVos's confirmation. DeVos doesn't have an education degree or even teaching experience. Rather, she's a powerful donor who advocates for school choice, which is useless without regard for school quality. Instead of specializing in pedagogy or curriculum, DeVos's skillset is commandeering public funding for private education. She was a key player in shaping the Michigan charter school system, which is severely lacking in oversight, demanding little accountability for how tax dollars are spent or how well students are educated. I don't want to see the same thing happen nationally, and I expect <Senator ______ or the Committee> to take a stand for quality education. America's students and teachers deserve better than DeVos!
5. Save the National Endowment for the Arts
Sign a petition to save a national treasure on the budget chopping block, the National Endowment for the Arts.
6. No DAPL petition:
The Dakota Access Pipeline disrespects and endangers American Indian Communities. Sign this petition to require Trump to show he has no financial conflicts of interest here (doubtful).
7. Skills building for next week: Read the Indivisible guide and build an alliance with your local Indivisible chapter
PAGE’s model is inspired in large part by the Indivisible guide, a practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda, written by former congressional staff members. Indivisible looks at why the Tea Party was so successful, and seeks to use those lessons for a progressive movement. Indivisible calls on people to organize LOCALLY, to form little action groups which exert pressure on their particular members of congress.
However, as citizens living around the world, we can’t really follow this model, unless you’re living somewhere big enough that you can find multiple people from your congressional district. So, our model is adapted, allowing citizens from different parts of the US to take action together and in the communities where they live.
However, we still recommend reading the Indivisible guide. It’s short, very well written, and already in use by over 4,500 groups across the USA.
We also recommend finding and contacting the Indivisible group from your hometown. Write to them and let them know what you are doing with PAGE. Due to your location and time zone differences, it might be difficult for you to take part in all their actions, but you can keep track of what they are doing and potentially contribute from afar.
8. Skills building: How to have a 1:1 when you’re looking to grow your PAGE Chapter
You might be hoping to grow your PAGE Chapter, or find someone else in your community to work with you. The most powerful way to do this is by having some 1:1s!
In-person 1:1s are usually more effective than emailing, texting, etc and asking people to get involved.
To schedule a 1:1, reach out to a potential collaborator that you’d like to meet up to catch up. You can tell them in advance that you’d like to tell them more about what you’re doing with PAGE, or you can wait until you meet up to explain. It’s completely up to you, whatever makes you feel most comfortable in your context
Consider meeting up somewhere discreet, if political sensitivity is an issue in your context
Once you meet up, talk about what has been happening in the world. You can say something like, “I’m really concerned about the election of Trump, and the rise of what seems to be hateful, exclusionary politics around the world.” Provide examples of how it impacts you and your community, at home and where you live. Share frustrations of feeling far way, if you feel that.
Share what you have been doing with PAGE, giving specific examples of how it works, why you are doing it, and what you hope to get out of it
Read their reaction…
If the other person shows interest: great! Invite them to get involved! Invite them to the next meeting, or partner with them to organize a new meeting.
If the person says, “that sounds like a lot of work which won’t make a difference!”
If the person says, “wow, your PAGE group sounds great, but you should be doing XYZ”, invite them to get involved to implement their idea!
If they don’t show interest, that’s okay too! Sometimes this happens, and it’s important not to pressure people into getting engaged if they don’t want to.
Congrats: you’re community organizing!