CHICAGO — Opponents of president Trump’s executive order limiting immigration are speaking out across the Chicago area.
Today a Chicago doctor from Syria who was stranded overseas is back in the city and Holocaust survivors joined the chorus of critics.
The Holocaust survivors were careful to say there’s no literal comparison between the president’s executive order and the Holocaust.
What they did say is that the demonization of refugees and immigrants unfolding in the present, ignores the lessons of the past.
‘You start off by classifying people as a certain type, and then you give them a name, then it starts, ‘They`re not really people. They’re less than people. What the hell do we want them here for?’” said Aaron Elster.
Elster, a Holocaust survivor, led a tour through the Illinois Holocaust Museum Thursday hoping these lessons will resonate with supporters of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. It is an order his administration says it designed to keep terrorists out of the United States.
Nearly 20 Holocaust survivors gathered in Skokie to condemn the order, saying they see parallels from history: Vulnerable people in mortal danger with nowhere to turn.
“We are deeply troubled by the executive order`s indefinite ban on refugees – including from Syria, a war-torn country with millions displaced and hundreds of thousands dead,” said Susan Abrams, Illinois Holocaust Museum CEO.
Dr. Amer Al Hommsi, a Chicago doctor from Syria was temporarily stranded by the immigration order.
He was stranded in Abu Dhabi where he traveled to get married. He was kept off of his plane back to Chicago last Sunday because of the executive order. He returned to Chicago today.
But Trump is showing no signs of backing down and is keeping the 90-day ban in place.
There is another Chicago legal case pending in which a permanent legal resident who lives with his wife and children left the country to care for his sick mother in Iran. But he was refused a plane ticket back.
His lawyers say they’re optimistic he’ll be allowed to return to the city.