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City Resolution

Resolution Template – The 135th Anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act and Immigrant and Refugee Rights Today

WHEREAS, on May 6, 1882, President Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was the nation’s first law to prohibit immigration solely on the basis of ethnicity;

WHEREAS, the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was renewed in 1892, 1902 and made permanent in 1904 prevented Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. and denied Chinese a pathway to citizenship for more than 60 years;

WHEREAS, subsequent legislation such as the 1892 Geary Act, which required all Chinese to register for and carry on their persons Certificates of Residence or risk imprisonment and deportation set a precedent for the Muslim registry being promoted by President Trump today;

WHEREAS, the Chinese Exclusion Act was based on racial hostility against Chinese, who were characterized as “unassimilable, vile heathens” and were blamed for lowering wages, taking away jobs, draining the economy, and endangering the American way of life;

WHEREAS, there is a direct link between the racial animus and religious intolerance exemplified by the Chinese Exclusion Act and President Trump’s Executive Orders, which attempts to ban the issuance of travel visas for citizens of certain majority-Muslim nations based on unestablished security risks and the implication that all Muslims are terrorists;

WHEREAS, Trump’s executive order suspended refugee resettlement for 120 days, and cut in half the number of refugees the U.S. had accepted previously in the Obama administration to 50,000 refugees;

WHEREAS, President Trump’s executive order of January 25, 2017, on border enforcement called for the construction of a new border wall, which has been estimated to cost $20 billion, and the hiring of additional Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to deport undocumented immigrants whom he called  “bad hombres” and “rapists,” thereby criminalizing immigrant communities at large;

WHEREAS, Trump’s order for expedited removals gives immigration officials broad powers to arrest and deport anyone suspected of being in the U.S. without authorization, just as marshals were allowed to sweep through Chinese communities in the aftermath of the Chinese Exclusion Act to raid homes and businesses in search of undocumented immigrants;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Senate in 2011 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 unanimously condemned the Chinese Exclusion Laws and “affirmed Congress’ commitment to preserve the civil rights and constitutional protections for all people;”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the (name of city, town, county, etc.) marks May 6, 2017, as a Day of Inclusion in recognition of the harm caused by racially discriminatory immigration measures and to honor the contributions of all immigrants and refugees who have enriched our communities;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the (name of city, town, county, etc.) declares its opposition to the Executive Orders signed by the President on border enforcement policies and the Muslim travel ban, and call upon the President to rescind these Executive Orders;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the (name of city, town, county, etc.) condemns the expansion of deportations planned by the current Presidential Administration as well as its executive order banning immigration based on national origin and religion;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the (name of city, town, county, etc.) reaffirms it is open and welcoming to immigrants and refugees who are integral to the life of our city/town/county.

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