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Miami Civil Rights Groups Plan Rally Against Trump's Muslim Ban at 5 p.m. Today

By Jerry Iannelli, For Miami New Times, On 26 January 2017, Read Original
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To put things bluntly, America's president has spent the last 24 hours attacking brown people. First, Trump announced that he's bullheadedly pushing forward with Building! The! Wall! despite the fact that the fastest-growing group of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. is flying in from Asia. He's also banning refugees from seven Muslim countries in the name of homeland security, despite the fact that nearly every post-9/11 assailant in this country has been a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Yesterday, more than 1,000 New Yorkers rallied in Washington Square Park against Trump's Muslim ban — and today, Miami will follow suit. A group of activists has announced an impromptu "Emergency Rally in Miami Against Trump Muslim Ban," which will be held at 5 p.m. at the Torch of Friendship monument downtown, near Bayfront Park. As of 1 p.m., more than 120 people say they'll attend.

The event has been organized by some of the biggest left-leaning activist groups in Florida. Namely, the state chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations in tandem with Jewish Voice for Peace South Florida, the Service Employees International Union Florida, the American Civil Liberties Union Florida, Dream Defenders, and the Florida Immigrant Coalition, among many others.

Wilfredo Ruiz, CAIR Florida's communications director, says the demonstration is meant to show local and national leaders that people of all races, faiths, and genders are united in opposing Trump's anti-immigrant policies.

"The message is that all parties affected by Trump’s orders need to work together," Ruiz says. "One of the things that this rally will show is the variety of the communities coming together. We're all equally affected by xenophobic policies trying to be implemented by Mr. Trump."

Yesterday, Trump also announced that he plans to cut federal funding to towns that act as "sanctuary cities" by refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials working to deport immigrants. This puts Miami-Dade County in a bind, since officials don't know yet if the feds will actually name Miami a "sanctuary." According to the Miami Herald, the county has never officially called itself a "sanctuary," but it's passed some sanctuary-style legislation. In 2013, Miami-Dade commissioners voted to no flaunt federal requests to indefinitely detain undocumented people.

With Miami-Dade's massive Latin American and Muslim communities waiting with tight chests and pounding hearts as news trickles out from the Trump administration, the city's civil rights organizations say they're stepping up today to stand between a small-fingered orange man and the immigrants he's targeting.

"We will not stay silent in the face of such hate," the organizers say online.

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