Maher Al Kalaf, a Syrian refugee who came to Connecticut in August, stood before a full room at the Legislative Office Building Friday morning to join officials in denouncing President Donald Trump‘s recent executive orders on immigration — which would stop others from making the same journey.
Behind him stood his wife, Najah, with their 3-month-old son. Maher and Najah have seven children — the last of whom was born here in November.
“The main reason for coming here is to find peace, security and education for the kids,” Al Kalaf, who lives in Manchester, said through a translator.
The family was joined by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, several union leaders, Muslim-Americans and representatives from refugee and immigrant advocacy groups. After the press conference, people gathered outside with signs that said “Defend CT,” “United We Stand” and “Resist Trump.” At least one man stood on the opposite side of the street holding a sign that read “Sanctuary Cities Unlawful.”
Trump has proposed restrictions on immigration to the United States, the construction of a wall along the Mexican border and cutting off federal funding to sanctuary cities where police generally don’t enforce immigration laws and may refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
“An anti-immigrant policy turns away children and families seeking to escape persecution and violence, coming here for the beacon of hope that this country has always represented,” Blumenthal said at the press conference. “So I’m very proud to stand…
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