MOCO leaders release statement to reassure safety for all immigrants, refugees

Video by Ava Chenok

By Lily Jacobson

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County Executive Ike Leggett and nine other Montgomery County council members released a statement Jan. 30 to ensure community safety for all residents, following President Trump’s recent executive order.  The letter was posted on the Montgomery County website along with each council member’s website.

Trump signed executive order 13769 Jan. 27 banning Syrian refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days to attempt to prevent domestic terror attacks. The seven countries are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

County leaders hoped the letter would reaffirm the county’s values of a safe, comfortable learning environment and would increase county-wide stability and security.

“Montgomery County is committed to building and maintaining a safe and inclusive community for our residents,” the letter read. “Understanding, tolerance and respect are hallmarks of the Montgomery County way.”

The county leaders also clarified that local police work under a strict policy which prohibits them from stopping or targeting anyone based on their ethnicity, race or religion.

President Trump’s ban angered many students, but they also said they are proud to live in a county where leaders advocate for all residents.

“I love the community of Montgomery County. I have always felt safe and this extra step by the leaders has reminded me of that,” junior Katia Goldberg said.

Our diversity is our strength.  We will not let a culture of fear take hold in our community.

— council member Nancy Navarro

Other students were more supportive of the executive order. A senior who requested anonymity said he was annoyed when first hearing about the letter as he felt it contradicted Trump’s executive order.

“I’m tired of people deliberately denying orders just because they don’t like them,” he said. “I question the purpose of this letter in general because the executive order is to prevent entrance, not increase deportations.”

Council member Nancy Navarro, one of the council members who signed the letter, had no trouble explaining the purpose of the joint statement.

In Navarro’s Jan. 25 press release, she explained her outrage toward the actions of President Trump. As the first Latina to serve as a council member in Montgomery County, Navarro reiterated that diversity is a key factor in the community.

“Our diversity is our strength,” Navarro said. “We will not let a culture of fear take hold in our community.”

View the full joint statement from the council members in the link here 

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