The focus of my work and writing is the environment. But I write today to express my personal outrage, sorrow, and embarrassment at the ban imposed by Donald Trump on entrance to the United States by people from seven countries in the Middle East - based solely on their country of origin.
This action is inhumane, immoral, and indefensible. Not only is the ban based on the unsupportable factual premise that it will prevent acts of terrorism in the United States, but it violates constitutional protections and the explicit statutory prohibition against exclusion based on national origin enacted by Congress in 1965. Contrary to its asserted purpose, Trump's action is more likely to fan the flames that feed terrorism in this country and around the civilized world.
The ban is blatantly un-American - inimical to our long-held values of equality and inclusion embodied in the Declaration of Independence and symbolized by the Statue of Liberty. All Americans should be outraged, and all of us need to oppose it.
I join in condemning this divisive, destructive, and despicable action taken in the name of our country by a dangerous President who has already demonstrated - and by this latest action once again confirmed - that he has little regard for facts, no apparent interest in the complexities of addressing the real needs of the people his office exists to serve, and a distorted understanding of the constitutional principles on which this country has been built - a foundation that for centuries has made this country unique in the world.
Each of us has a stake in collective action against the immigration ban, because the danger posed by Trump isn't limited to one religion, region, gender, or ethnic classification, one social, cultural or economic group, or one special interest or issue. The attack launched this week against immigrants from the seven banned countries betrays a sickening lack of judgment that threatens all of us whatever our demographic or concern -- from national security to environmental protection to civil rights to our constitutional system of laws. Complacency in the hope that, if given a chance, Donald Trump intends or will inevitably be compelled to moderate his behavior is a prescription for escalating, irreparable, and widespread harm -- to our families, our communities, and our future.
The responsibility to oppose the dangerous demagoguery of this President isn't dictated by political party or ideology. His reckless policies and blatant disregard for fact aren't a matter of right or left but of right or wrong - and of our personal and national interest. His illegal ban on access to this country is antithetical to basic standards of human decency that Americans fought and died to defend in opposing dictatorship and genocide in World War II.
The good news is that Trump's action is already being challenged in the streets and in court, and a stay of the ban was issued on Saturday by the federal court in Brooklyn. Other such actions - whether their focus is civil rights, environmental progress, our social fabric, or our humanity -- must be challenged as well. No matter the issue - this one or the next -- we will succeed only if each of us, together, does whatever we can.
Stand up, speak out, and be heard. Get involved. Oppose Trump's immigration ban.
Take action. Today.