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Immigrant ban reverberates through Austin

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

This weekend’s local news was, understandably, dominated by Austin’s reaction to a recent executive order from President Donald Trump banning immigrants from some Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. City Council members Delia Garza and Greg Casar both attended an airport protest Sunday and reiterated their intention to amend the budget in order to aid refugees and immigrants, as was initiated last month. Meanwhile, South by Southwest organizers said they were “alarmed” by the ban and were working to understand its potential impact on the festival, which begins in less than two months, and what they can do in response. A statement from the organization read, in part, “We stand against discriminatory laws and unequivocally support civil rights for all persons everywhere. Participation by speakers, artists, and filmmakers from around the world is crucial to the creative mix of ideas that makes our event meaningful. We are working to understand how the ban will impact our participants and how we can use our voice to support those directly affected by this executive order.” In a bit of synchronicity, today is Texas Muslim Capitol Day. Though it is a biennial occurrence, this year registration was closed early due to an overwhelming community response, and protests are expected.

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