City Leaders Standing Up Against Immigration Ban

Published: Jan. 30, 2017 at 11:35 PM EST
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"We gain strength from each other,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said. “We think differences ought to be celebrated. We're not afraid of them."

And not afraid of President Donald Trump's immigration orders.

Most people who showed up to the meeting work closely with mid-Michigan refugees. They say the president's new policy has people worried.

"There are people questioning openly is this the right place for me?” Farhan Bahtti with Carefree Medical said. “Am I going to be safe in my home? And that's uniquely un-American. We can't allow that to happen in our country”

"They're afraid what may happen to them while they're here,” Judi Harris with St. Vincent Catholic Charities said. “They don't know where this is going to go because things keep seeming to get worse and worse.”

To make it better these leaders plan to host events and rallies.

"Just educating people about the facts,” Bahtti said. “The facts are a moving target sometimes, right now."

Another idea is to hear the concerns of people afraid of the refugees.

Leaders think town hall meetings may be the way to go.

"We need to know what is our fears what is our concerns,” Dr. Abdalmajid Katrandji said. “What is leading to our vulnerability? And address them together."

Together, this group plans to keep meeting, hoping to gather more supporters along the way.

They say they won't back down.

"We've got a big job to do now,” Mayor Bernero said. “To make sure everybody feels comfortable here. But we're committed to put down that red carpet that says everybody is welcome in metro Lansing.”