Opinion: Resisting Trump’s immigrant ban: ‘I have been despondent. Now I am awake.’

Protesters demonstrate against the Trump administration's refugee and immigration orders at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Jan. 28 in New York City.
Protesters demonstrate against the Trump administration’s refugee and immigration orders at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Jan. 28 in New York City.
(Stephanie Keith / Getty Images)

To the editor: To President Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries — which harkens back to a dark period in Europe when German soldiers asked, “Ausweis, bitte,” (“papers, please”) — let’s instead look to the German words of another American president who said, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” (“Trump’s cruel, illegal refugee executive order,” Opinion, Jan. 29)

Only perhaps now it should be, “Ich bin ein Muslim.”

Russ Woody, Studio City


To the editor: The president’s Muslim ban bothers me to my core. But what bothers me more is the false sympathy that’s present because of it.


Whether it’s a 40-year-old hijabi woman like my mother or a high school student like myself, any Muslim American can tell of their experience with veiled Islamophobia since 9/11. This ban lifts the veil.

Sadly, we’ve learned to cope, not with violence or anger, but with love.

Muslims across the United States have given everything they have for this country — whether it’s by saving lives in medicine or giving their own lives in military service. Nearly 6,000 U.S. service members identify as Muslims, because the prophet Muhammad taught us that “love of one’s country is part of one’s faith.”

We will continue loving America, even if sometimes it does not love us back.

Sinaan Younus, Perry Hall, Md.


To the editor: I do not support Trump, but for whatever reason, the Obama administration did not adequately address terrorism in the United States. Trump’s ban on people from seven Muslim-majority nations entering this country is an unfortunate consequence of terrorism.

Many documented acts of terrorism in this country have been committed by Muslims living here who were able to travel freely to and from the Middle East and elsewhere to become radicalized. This is a fact. Obviously, Trump should have included more details in his plan before his administration implemented it.

Some will say Trump’s action is racist, but it is not. Interning innocent Japanese Americans was racist, as there were no acts of terrorism perpetrated by Japanese Americans.


Something needs to be done. This is a step in the right direction.

Neil Snow, Manhattan Beach


To the editor: Your articles have mentioned the effect this ban may have on teaching hospitals and training new physicians.

I am a resident physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital and I train alongside Syrians, Iranians and other immigrants. Let me be clear: They make American healthcare better. America’s finest hospitals rely on the brightest doctors from around the world. In pathology, my field of medicine, more than half of all new residents went to medical school outside the U.S.

This policy is deleterious to American healthcare but also has a human cost. Some of my colleagues have spouses working in other countries. They may no longer be able to see them under this ban. Other immigrant residents fear they too may be the next victims of an executive order.

It pains me to watch my colleagues, as well as my patients, suffer under this anti-immigrant agenda of the White House.

Benjamin Mazer, MD, New Haven, Conn.



To the editor: My parents emigrated from Austria in 1940 to escape the Nazis.

My mother was Jewish. They applied for visas in 1939 but had to wait an extra year because the U.S. quota of immigrants from Austria had been reached. This delay could easily have resulted in my parents being placed in a concentration camp.

My maternal grandparents were not so lucky. They died in Auschwitz.

Now our president has suspended refugee arrivals and has banned entry from certain Muslim countries. How many people will die? Does this administration have any compassion? This is not how you make America great.

Betsy Estrada, Mission Viejo


To the editor: No, no, no!

This 56-year-old American Jew can no longer sit in her comfort and security and ask how 6 million people could perish, thankful that she wasn’t yet alive to bear witness or die.

Congratulations, President Trump: After just a week in the White House you have sealed your ignominious fate as the greatest American counterpart to Adolf Hitler.

I have been despondent. Now I am awake.

Laurie Aronoff, Los Angeles



To the editor: A new president with no government experience quickly fires off executive orders without first consulting the professionals who have expertise and experience. Chaos ensues immediately at airports around the world as confused officials deny entry to U.S. legal permanent residents and others with legal visas.

Federal judges rebuke them. The next morning the president sends his chief of staff to change policy again on a television show.

Isn’t it great that finally we have a Republican businessman who really knows how to run things?

John Odell, Pasadena


To the editor: Sadly, Trump’s immigration ban isn’t the last straw. It’s just the next straw with more and more hastily conceived executive orders to follow.

Now is the time for more Republicans to stop acting like sheep and speak up.

Stefan Gerber, Los Angeles



To the editor: Dear France:

Thanks for the statue. It was a nice thought, but we really should return it. It just doesn’t suit our current style. I hope you kept the receipt.

Thanks anyway.

Ken Moreno, Pasadena

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