Letter to the editor: Vermont must fight for values

Within days of assuming office, having lost the national popular vote by an historic margin, President Trump rushed to issue unlawful and unconstitutional executive orders banning immigration on the basis of religion and ending the resettlement of refugees suffering from life-threatening religious and political persecution.
He has promised to take further illegal action by deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants, including thousands of migrant farm workers and dozens of college students living throughout Vermont, including many living right here in Middlebury and throughout Addison County.
These actions, aside from being blatantly illegal and violative of our fundamental values as a nation, will also serve to make America less safe, handing ISIS and Al Qaeda a recruiting tool they’ve been dreaming of: concrete support for the lie that America is at war with Islam itself.
When asked this week whether Vermont should protect our community members who are immigrants by becoming a “sanctuary state,” Gov. Scott demurred, telling VTDigger.org that he was concerned with the possibility of losing federal funding for unrelated programs — a clearly unconstitutional threat hinted at by the Trump Administration as major cities across the country have taken similar actions.
Vermonters of all political persuasions must join together to stand up and resist Donald Trump’s dangerous lurch towards racism, fear-mongering and the destruction of our foundational democratic norms. We must fight for our shared values, not cower in fear over what the bullies in the White House might (illegally) do in response.
We must demand that our leaders, including Gov. Scott, protect all vulnerable Vermonters from this federal aggression.
Dave Silberman, Esq.

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