As the clock ticks down to the midterm elections, the tempo of anti-immigrant threats and bombast speeds up. Trump says he will end asylum applications, in violation of U.S. and international law, and also end birthright citizenship, in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Right-wing television commentators and Republican ads across the country foment fear with wild—and false—claims about rabies, leprosy, and crime, brought by invading armies of migrants.
In response, people across Minnesota nd across the country are rejecting lies and stepping up to stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees and with victims of hate.
“Tomorrow the migrants, according to Fox News reporting, are more than two months away — if any of them actually come here. But tomorrow is one week before the midterm election, which is what all of this is about.
“There is no invasion. No one’s coming to get you. There’s nothing at all to worry about.”
Though Republican ads smearing and attacking immigrants are running in Minnesota, some Minnesotans aren’t buying Republican fearmongering:
“Worthington’s nonpartisan mayor, Mike Kuhle, said his city has 46 businesses owned by minorities, most of them immigrants. “There’s a lot of fear” because of talk about the wall and other issues, but without the newcomers, “our businesses wouldn’t grow,” he said.
“Abraham Algadi, executive director of the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp., said that Worthington and other towns that “open their arms to immigrants are thriving.” Without them, “downtown would be 80 percent empty,” he said.
“John Garry, president of the Development Corporation of Austin — another First District city with a large immigrant population — said they help offset a workforce shortage. “We’ve worked really hard to embrace the diversity,” he said.”
In the midst of the campaign and the deadly hate crimes of the last few weeks, the country’s long-standing promise of safe haven for immigrants and refugees persists.
At the vigil at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul on Monday nightCarin Mrotz, executive director of Jewish Community Action, said:
“The synagogue in Pittsburgh, Tree of Life, the worshippers within, were not just targeted because they were Jews, they were targeted because they supported an organization that helps to resettle and support refugees. …
“We are blamed and targeted for supporting immigrants and refugees to encourage us to stop.
“But we won’t stop. And we may be afraid, but we won’t back down.”
Nausheena Hussain, executive director of the group Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment, also spoke:
“Today we mourn, tomorrow we resist — we resist the status quo, the hate and the rise of white supremacy, antisemitism and Islamophobia.”
“And then on Tuesday, we vote,”
The outpouring of solidarity and strength signals the promise that draws immigrants and refugees here: a promise of safety, welcome, and opportunity. If you want to be part of the promise part of a welcoming country,here are two ways to begin:
First, you can support the nonprofits who help immigrants at the border. Here’s one place to give.
Second, you can vote on November 6, and work to get others to vote, by phone banking, door knocking, or even delivering cookies to volunteers. Here’s one place to volunteer.