City Hall Rally Against Trump's Travel Ban

Jan 31, 2017

A coalition of several advocacy groups for foreign-born residents is demanding that local, state and federal lawmakers fight President Trump’s travel ban. More than 100 rallied outside City Hall.  

Saira Mehmood is a phD candidate in the anthropology department at Southern Methodist University. She hosted the rally on City Hall steps, arranged by the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee.

“The city should agree to commit to de-criminalization and de-carceration. Investing in community initiatives, harm-reduction services or treatment can improve public safety and health, and is good public policy," she said.

Trump’s executive order bars travel to the U-S from seven mostly Muslim nations – Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia.

Nor Vartanian is a 28-year-old Iraqi citizen – in New Orleans about three year, working on a master’s degree at Tulane University in international business. Now – even though he would get special consideration under the ban as a Christian -- he’s wary of leaving the country.

“I had opportunities to go to China, Paris and other countries to just get a business experience. You know, and now I can’t.  I have to have different arrangements on how to finish the program here in New Orleans," he said.

And his parents now can’t visit him here.

City Councilman Jason Williams spoke at the rally, pledging to fight Trump’s policies. Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a statement, saying the president’s executive order is “un-American” and “un-Christian.”