Protestors stood outside Gov. Doug Ducey's office at the Arizona State Capitol Tuesday morning chanting, "Ducey, we reject your racism," as part of a demonstration against his ban against allowing new refugees to settle in Arizona.
Ducy called for an immediate stop to accepting refugees on Monday following the Paris terrorist attacks in a statement on his website.
He is one of at least 24 governors to call for a halt in accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S. because of their fears concerning terrorism and ISIS.
"These acts serve as a reminder that the world remains at war with radical Islamic terrorists,” Ducey wrote in the statement. "Our national leaders must react with the urgency and leadership that every American expects to protect our citizens.”
But many are calling this announcement racist and fear mongering.
Around 30 protestors gathered on the lawn in front of the Governor’s Office with signs denouncing his statement, saying "Refugees welcome!” At the protest, Rev. Reginald Walton, a senior pastor at the Phillips Memorial CME Church and religious studies senior Johnny Martin, president of Sun Devils Are Better Together, spoke.
“This country, this great melting pot, the amalgamation that is called America was founded by people who had fled terror and come to this country to seek a better place and a better way of life,” Walton said. “And for Governor Ducey to fan the flames of fanaticism and create a frenzy based on xenophobia and the othering of other people, the othering of humanity, is downright deplorable.”
Walton said he is asking Ducey to have a “change of heart” and to not make statements that play to human ideals, rather than his political party.
Martin said it is important to exercise the values they say they believe in.
“If we believe in empathy or compassion or social justice or human rights, then it’s important for us to extend that to all people, not just people who look like us or believe what we do,” he said.
Journalism sophomore Elisabeth Niman, who is Syrian, said she was concerned about her family.
“My dad is Syrian, so to hear that is very distressing,” Niman said. “To hear other politicians saying they’ll only let in Christians, or Trump saying they’re all going back no matter how long they’ve been here puts my family in danger.”
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