The debate over the legality of President Trump’s Executive Order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States continues in the courts. In the meantime, many refugees are uncertain about their futures and many Americans are uncertain about their nation’s reputation for welcoming immigrants from all walks of life.
Tumblr and the International Refugee Assistance Project have convened refugees, advocates and policy experts to discuss the potential impact of such laws and policies and test the assumptions on which they are based.
Ibrahim, aka Sham Hasan was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. He served as a linguist and cultural adviser to the U.S. Army in Iraq. He arrived to the US through the Special Immigrant Visa program in 2014. Sham is a LGBTQ and refugee rights advocate.
Betsy Fisher is the Policy Director at the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center. An attorney and passionate Michigan fan (go blue!), she advocates for refugees and for individuals at risk who worked for the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bader is an LGBT refugee who fled from his home country and, after a long journey, now lives in Lebanon. Bader is an LGBTIQ activist and a human rights supporter, and also has a blog where he writes and sings songs inspired by his experience. For reasons of security and privacy he is not using his real name or photograph.
Jen Smyers serves as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program, and has been with CWS for more than ten years. A graduate of American University with a B.A. in Law and Society, B.A. in Public Communication, and Masters in Public Policy, Ms. Smyers has previously worked with Border Action Network in Tucson, Arizona and the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
Our panelists will start responding on Tuesday, February 14th.