Dozens of demonstrators converged on New Orleans City Hall on Monday for a second day of demonstrations against President Donald Trump's far-reaching executive order halting the admission of new refugees from war-torn Syria and suspending immigration from several other Muslim-majority countries.I'm proud of the people in New Orleans who are out there on the barricades, and I'm grateful to the Democratic political leaders and to Archbishop Aymond for speaking out against the despicable executive order.
The rally, the second in two days, came as some local religious leaders, including Catholic Archbishop Gregory Aymond, expressed outrage at the president's directive, condemning it as antithetical to humanitarian and American principles.
U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, called the order "immoral," while City Councilman Jason Williams described it as "unconstitutional."
"President Trump's discriminatory travel ban will make our country less safe because it will further alienate us from Muslim allies in the fight against terrorism and extremism," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.
"New Orleans will remain a welcoming city because we know that our diversity is a strength," he said. "We also know all too well what it feels like to seek shelter and refuge in a place that is not your home."
And then our brave Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-LA) weighs in:
Sen. John Kennedy said the United States has the "right to control its border," adding that it would be "stupid to let people who want to hurt us into our country."Perhaps Kennedy does not know the US already has the most rigorous vetting process for refugees in the entire world.
"We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws," Kennedy said. "I support the following rule: If you want to come to America, you have to be rigorously vetted to make sure you are not a terrorist, regardless of your religion or country of origin."
Does the senator believe that translators and intelligence agents from countries in the Middle East who put their lives and the lives of their families at risk to support the members of our military stationed in those countries are "people who want to hurt us"? Does Kennedy approve of putting our troops the Middle East at greater risk, because people in those countries will no longer be willing to help our military fight ISIS? Does he approve of putting our country at greater risk by providing ISIS with an excellent recruiting tool to say, "Look! The United States hates all Muslims."
Does Kennedy think citizens with dual citizenship in the US and another country should be barred from reentering the country if they travel outside our borders? Does he think people who have green cards for permanent residence in the US should be barred? Students from countries in the Middle East who went to their native countries for a visit? So many questions, but no answers.
Ever since Trump signed the executive order, I've been calling Kennedy's office, along with the office of Sen. Bill Cassidy to express my opinion, but I can't get through. Either the line is busy, or I receive a message that the voice mailbox is full. I spoke to a person in Rep. Garrett Graves office, but I could not get answers to my specific questions, only a vague statement that he supports the order, because he wants to keep us safe, which, of course, the executive order does not do.
There's no point in writing my GOP members of Congress, because they use my letter as an excuse to respond with a spiel about the great things they are doing. Invariably, their responses have nothing to do with the subject of my message.
I may not be able to reach my GOP senators, but it's good therapy for me to put the questions in writing, outside of myself.