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Metro Detroiters protest latest Trump immigrant order

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Detroit — A group of Yemeni-Americans, immigrants and community activists rallied in southwest Detroit Friday, calling on Metro Detroiters to condemn President Donald Trump’s executive order banning visas for people from Muslim-majority countries.

“It’s really Muslim Ban 2.0,” said Adel Mozip, a community activist, who helped organize the event. “This is an attack on our identities as Yemeni-Americans and Muslims.

“We are calling on everyone to stand with us,” added Mozip of Dearborn. “An attack on our community is an attack on all communities. ”

Mozip, during the rally held in protest of Trump’s executive order, also condemned “random Immigrant Customs & Enforcement, or ICE, raids on ordinary undocumented immigrants.”

The demonstration in Detroit was one of many Yemeni-Americans held Friday across the country. New York, Buffalo, New York, and San Francisco were among other cities where rallies were organized.

In Dearborn, a group of at least 100 people gathered at the American Moslem Society on West Vernor Highway on Dearborn’s south end and marched about a half mile down the road to the General George S. Patton Memorial Center in Detroit where the rally was held.

The group chanted “No ban! No wall! No ban! No wall!” and “USA! USA! USA!” as they made the trek in below freezing temperature and 30 mile-per-hour winds.

Many carried American flags, others had flags of Yemen. More than a few carried signs reiterating their chant.

Activists from Metro Detroit’s Muslim and Latino communities spoke at the rally against the executive order issued Monday, which bars new visas for citizens from six Muslim countries and temporarily shuts down America’s refugee program.

Detroit City Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López also attended, calling for people to take a stand against racism and urging them to run for public office to be a voice for their communities.

“The people who spoke here today can’t be the only people who are speaking out,” she said. “We need you to show up and fight for your communities, so people know what our concerns are.”

Trump’s administration has said the measure aims to keep would-be terrorists out of the United States while the government reviews the process to vet refugees and visa applicants from certain parts of the world.

The order is similar to one Trump issued a week after his inauguration. It was challenged in court and rescinded Monday.

Trump’s latest order, which takes effect Thursday, doesn’t include Iraq in his 90-day ban on visas for people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It does not apply to people who already have valid visas.

Also under the order, the country’s refugee program will be suspended for 120 days, but those already formally scheduled for travel by the State Department will be allowed entry. After the three-month period, the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. will be capped at 50,000 for the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Saleh Nasher, 35, of Hamtramck is an immigrant from Yemen and attended the protest to show his support.

“I am against this ban,” he said. “And I came because I want my voice to be heard.”

cramirez@detroitnews.com