For Immediate Release
January 31, 2017
THE CONNECTICUT CHAPTER OF WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON DEMANDS U.S. SENATE REJECT JEFF SESSIONS AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, BETSY DEVOS AS SECRETARY OF EDUCATION AND DONALD TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION BAN ON SEVEN MUSLIM NATIONS
HARTFORD, CT-The Connecticut Chapter of the Women’s March on Washington released the following statement this morning.
“Thousands of Connecticut residents joined five million people worldwide on January 21st to march to send a clear message to Donald Trump that he has no mandate and we do not share his vision of hate and intolerance. We returned to Connecticut to continue to organize for a better future with our firm belief that women’s rights are human rights.
Regrettably, Donald Trump’s nominees for the Attorney General and Secretary of Education positions and his executive action to ban muslims from United States threaten our future.
Therefore, we implore all U.S. Senators to reject the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as our next Attorney General.
- He has been denied federal judgeship by fellow Republicans for a long history of racist behavior and beliefs, including a statement that the only problem with the Ku Klux Klan was marijuana use among its members.
- He supports Trump’s illegal voting conspiracy theory and is a long-time opponent of the Voting Rights Act.
- His record shows that, if confirmed, he would reverse decades of civil rights progress for women, African Americans, the LGBTQIA community and recent immigrants.
- He has a lifetime record of supporting the NRA’s guns everywhere agenda and the NRA supports his confirmation.
We also implore all U.S. Senators to reject the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as our next Secretary of Education.
- She is a billionaire who did not attend public schools and she is not an educator.
- In Michigan, she worked to create programs and laws that require the use of public funds to pay for private school tuition in the form of vouchers and similar programs.
- In MIchigan, she was the force behind the charter schools which had lower reading and math test scores than the state average.
- She supports Donald Trump and the gun lobby’s dangerous policy of putting guns in our K-12 schools.
- If confirmed, she would work to divert Title 1 federal funds for the “school choice” for-profit educational schemes that will crumble the safety net for educational opportunities in the communities that need it most.
Lastly, we demand that Congress immediately support House and Senate bills to end Donald Trump’s immigration ban on Muslims. According to Cato Institute, there are five reasons why the ban should be repealed:
“1) The order violates the law. Under the Immigration Act of 1965, the president may not refuse to give visas to immigrants coming to live in the United States permanently due to their nationality. The provision is unequivocal in stating that no person may “be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.” While this does not apply to temporary visitors or refugees, I have previously explained in detail why the president cannot legally enforce this order against immigrants who are sponsored by employers or family members in the United States.
2) Refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries are not a serious threat to Americans. The order would ban all people entering the United States from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, and yet no terrorist from these places has carried out a lethal attack in the United States. Indeed, no Libyans or Syrians have even been convicted for planning such an attack. Moreover, the likelihood of being killed by any refugee from any country is just 1 in 3.64 billion a year. This discrimination is arbitrary and cannot be rationally justified based on a assessment of the risk. It is worth remembering that German Jews were turned away on a similar pretense that they could be Nazi spies—only to be killed in death camps.
3) The order aids the Islamic State. ISIS has said that it wishes to “compel the Crusaders to actively destroy the gray zone themselves,” forcing Western Muslims to “either apostatize… or [emigrate] to the Islamic State and thereby escape persecution from the crusader governments and citizens.” They want this overreaction. The only thing keeping ISIS from imploding are its new recruits which makes winning the propaganda war critical. Accepting refugees deprives ISIS of human resources. The Caliphate’s main source of income is the people it extorts. One refugee told the Times. “ISIS would not let us leave. They said, ‘You are going to the infidels.’” What could be more important than making the “infidels” more popular than ISIS?
4) Muslim immigrants to the U.S. are reforming Islam. American Muslims are 81 percent first or second generation Americans who came from among the most socially illiberal countries in the world. Yet, they comprise the most socially liberal and tolerant Muslim in the world. In fact, during the most recent seven years when Muslim immigration was at its highest level, America’s Muslims grew increasingly socially tolerant of other religions and homosexuality. U.S. Muslim immigrants are spreading goodwill about America’s freedoms around the world. “When I talk to my family they ask, ‘How is the treatment of Americans,’ and I say ‘it’s wonderful,’” one Syrian refugee explained. U.S. immigration is creating a cohort of liberal Muslims who can confront radicalism worldwide.
5) America’s tradition of accepting refugees should be defended. Since World War II, the United States has accepted millions of refugees fleeing communism and totalitarianism around the world. The Roosevelt administration’s rejection of Jews fleeing the Holocaust was one of the more shameful acts of any American president. Rather than return to such a policy targeted at a new group of persecuted people, the United States should continue to accept humanitarian immigration, not because refugees can improve local economies—though they can—and not because they can provide tangible intelligence against ISIS—though they do—but because getting out of the way and allowing people to escape violence is the bare minimum of moral decency.”
After the historic Women’s March on Washington on January 21st, we will march on. We will not be complacent. We will not be silent. The march was the first step in our efforts to organize a concentrated opposition to any attempt to limit the freedom, liberty or justice of any member of our community. We will resist and persist as we look towards the future.”
Women’s March on Washington Connecticut Chapter Organizers
Andrea H. Berman, Milford
Beth Kerrigan West Hartford
Cass Martineau , Willimantic
Evelyn Mantilla, West Hartford
Jacqueline Kozin, New Haven
Jillian Gilchrest, West Hartford
Maria Khan, Bloomfield
Melissa Kane, Westport
Melody Oliphant, New Haven
Nancy Butterfield Dornenburg, Simsbury
Pam Elkow, Redding
Po Murray, Sandy Hook
Polly Moran, Hartford
Samantha Parsons, Guilford
Sarah Raskin, West Hartford
Samia Hussein, Windsor Locks
Sharlene Kerelejza, Meriden
About the Women’s March on Washington-Connecticut Chapter: Women’s March on Washington-Connecticut Chapter is being organized by a group of 25 diverse Connecticut women and men. We invite like-minded Connecticut residents to join our efforts via our Facebook site: Women’s March CT, We March On. Follow us on Twitter: @WomensMarchCT.
About the Women’s March on Washington: The Women’s March on Washington, held on January 21st in Washington, D.C., intends to send a bold message to the incoming Presidential administration on their first day in office, to leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, Governors and state Congresses, and to the world, that we stand together in solidarity and expect elected leaders to act to protect the rights of women, their families and their communities. The March is led by a national coordinating committee, volunteer organizers representing all 50 states, and numerous partner organizations. Partners include Amnesty International, EMILY’s List, GLAAD, Girls Who Code, Muslim Women’s Alliance, Planned Parenthood, United We Dream, NARAL and many more.