Local charities see influx of donations after Trump's travel ban

President Donald Trump's executive order banning Syrian refugees and both immigrants and nonimmigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries has led to an influx of donations and activism nationwide. 

Ellen Andrews, director of the Church World Service office in Durham, said their offices have been flooded with emails and phone calls from people wanting to help. 

“We really want to keep reiterating to those people that the protests and Facebook posts and all of those things are an important part of advocacy efforts, but that they shouldn't neglect to be calling their senators, their congressmen, and letting those folks know how they feel as well," she said.

Andrews said one thing on the mind of many refugee resettlement agencies, like her own, is money.

“A good majority of our funding is per capita based on refugee arrival, and we want to be prepared for those people when they continue to come," she said.

Madison Hayes, executive director of the Refugee Community Partnership in Carrboro, said there has been a surge in activism at her organization as well. 

“In our volunteer application, we ask why the applicant wants to be a part of the Refugee Community Partnership," Hayes said in an email. "Nearly all of those answers lately have been related to resisting Trump."

She said many nonprofit organizations are feeling the pressure of capitalizing on the current momentum in activism — because many are anticipating harsh cuts to federal funding under a Trump administration tax plan.

Hayes said local families are already feeling the effects of the order, if only because of the fear it produced. 

“People are afraid to apply for social services or public housing or jobs, for fear of drawing attention to their citizenship status and being quickly targeted,” Hayes said.

Meagan Clawar, project director of the UNC Refugee Community Partnership, said the organization has seen an active response from the UNC community. 

“People are saying that they want to demonstrate with their actions and with the way they spend their time, their values,” she said.

There are 110,000 refugees who have already been vetted by United States vetting processes and through the United Nations security screening process, said Adam Clark, office director at World Relief Durham. But only 50,000 of these refugees will be able to find safety in the U.S. this year due to the refugee ban. 

Clark said those 60,000 individuals no longer allowed into the country have already been through the screening process and were deemed safe to be admitted. 

“We're stranding 60,000 people, most of whom are women and children, who've already fled violence of all kinds all over the world, and we're telling them that they're no longer welcome — and that's a problem,” he said. 

state@dailytarheel.com

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