Daily Engagement: Call Your Senators to Vote on Dianne Feinstein’s Bills to Repeal Trump’s Islamophobic Executive Order


Daily Engagement is a new, brief, daily feature on Flavorwire. It’s aimed at helping people feel somewhat less helpless and hopeless (or at least in control of their helplessness and hopelessness) in the midst of a political news cycle that’s been doling out daily affronts to human decency.

Every day, we’ll post one easy thing that people can do to continue to resist the current state of politics under the Trump administration, focusing on the creative ways (we are a culture website after all) that citizens are finding to resist.

Update 1/31: CNN has reported that the below attempts by Chuck Schumer — made yesterday evening — have been blocked by Senate Republicans.

This morning on Today, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that “will ask for a vote on the floor of the Senate to repeal” Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days and refusing asylum to refugees for 120 days (and indefinitely for Syrian refugees).

Schumer himself has not by any means been the greatest voice of dissent among Democrats; he’s voted in favor of every one of Trump’s cabinet picks thus far — though he’s thankfully publicly stressing his plan is to at least vote against DeVos, Tillerson, Sessions, Mulvaney, Price, Pruitt and Puzder. And, likewise thankfully, he has been vocal about what even he says is “in effect a Muslim ban.” He’s accused the executive order of being sloppy, dangerous, and hasty legislation, describing it as quintessentially un-American, and will attempt, tonight, to get a vote on legislation from California Senator Diane Feinstein (another who’s voted affirmatively for all of Trump’s cabinet picks thus far).

According to The Hill, Feinstein is introducing two bills to senate, the first of which, per a Judiciary Committee ranking member, “immediately rescind[s Trump’s] order” and the second of which “limits executive authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

In his Today interview, Schumer emphasized that they’d have the vote if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell let them. McConnell was equivocal in his response to Trump’s order, but actually didn’t come out entirely in favor of it. He said on ABC’s The Week, “I don’t want to criticize them for improving vetting. I think we need to be careful. We don’t have religious tests in this country.” So, one particularly important thing to do today is, if you live in Kentucky, and oppose Trump’s executive order, to call McConnell’s office and stress the importance of this vote. And spread this information to your friends in Kentucky. Otherwise, if he okays the vote, the Republican-led Senate needs to vote with a majority. If every Democrat, and a handful Republicans, were to vote in favor of Feinstein’s bills, they’d get a majority vote in Senate, but not the mandatory 60% supermajority. Thus, it’s particularly important that you look into your Senators’ own stances on the issue, especially if you oppose the ban, and especially if you’re from a red state. (But given Democrats’ wavering stances of opposition to Trump, it’s also very crucial to call and remind your blue-state senators to not to shrink back from the fight.)

An exceedingly helpful spreadsheet on who within Senate has opposed the ban, who’s remained silent about it, and who’s supported it, has been circulating on Facebook; it also provides the phone numbers of every Senator. If your Senator has been silent, call to encourage them a. to be vocal against the ban and b. to back up that opposition with a vote tonight.

Even if somehow the stories of personal grief, hardship, and danger for immigrants and refugees detained and deported at airports somehow hasn’t managed to crack into some people’s buried facilities for empathy, there’s also the fact that Trump’s extreme Islamophobic order is antithetical to national security: ISIS is already thrilled by just how much easier Donald Trump is making it to radicalize people. The greatest danger to national security (for those whose concern is really terrorism and not the wellbeing of fellow human beings seeking shelter, many of whom have been subjected to an array of traumas) is in fact the propagation of anti-Muslim hate and persecution. That, and allowing white men to have all the guns they want, but we’ll get to that another time.