His name is Khizr Khan.
He is a Muslim American and an immigrant who was born in Pakistan.
In 2004 his son Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan, an American soldier was killed in Iraq while trying to prevent two suicide bombers in a taxi from killing men under his command.
Last year in a speech at the Democratic Convention, with his wife by his side, he said:
“Tonight, we are honored to stand here as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan…Like many immigrants we came to this country empty handed…if it was up to Donald Trump he never would have been in America…Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son ‘the best of America.’ If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities — women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country…We can’t solve our problems by building walls and sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our next president.”
Then on Nov. 8 Donald Trump was elected President and subsequently mandated that immigrants from seven Muslim Countries be prevented from entering the United States and that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents deport undocumented immigrants regardless of how long they had lived and worked here.
So it was that the Connecticut Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) sponsored a talk by Mr. Khan at the Norwalk Inn & Conference Center on May 5. There in a speech covered by NancyOnNorwalk Mr. Khan spoke movingly about how grateful he was for the law enforcement officers and members of the armed forces that defend the values embodied in our founding documents and the universal declaration of human rights. Then he spoke about how in what he termed these “alarming times” all of us in our local communities are obligated to stand up for those values.
That, indeed, is the reason that Stand Up Norwalk or SUN was formed and recently, at the request of Mayor Rilling, drafted the following resolution that it is asking the Common Council to consider adopting:
STAND UP NORWALK’S PROPOSED RESOLUTION
WHEREAS the city of Norwalk, Connecticut is proud of its diversity and its citizens’ respect for the enlightenment values embodied in our country’s founding documents and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
WHEREAS threats to deport law abiding undocumented immigrants and create a Muslim registry have created a climate of fear in our city and emboldened racists, xenophobes and others who do not share those values; and
WHEREAS the children of undocumented immigrants should not be separated from their parents due to their parents’ immigration status; and
WHEREAS as Governor Dannel P. Malloy pointed out “both real and perceived threats against undocumented persons and mixed-status families in our schools are causing trauma for students that affects their learning and well-being;” and
WHEREAS as Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark E. Ojakian noted many students “due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, and…immigration status” are now fearful; and
WHEREAS as former President George W. Bush pointed after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack: “America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country;” and
WHEREAS rhetoric that demeans Hispanics, Muslims, blacks, and others demeans everyone; and
WHEREAS every Norwalk resident should be able to participate in its civic life without fear of being arrested or reported to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency; and
WHEREAS Norwalk wants undocumented immigrants to be provided with a path to citizenship; and
WHEREAS enforcement of federal immigration laws is the responsibility of federal government not local law enforcement agencies; and
WHEREAS federal law does not require local law enforcement or other local service providers to inquire into an individual’s immigration status; and
WHEREAS the threat to deport undocumented immigrants leads them to fear to report crimes, summon help for injuries, and seek opportunities for their children; and
WHEREAS Norwalk seeks to ensure that every one of its residents realizes the protections guaranteed to her or him by the Bill of Rights,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMON COUNCIL that Norwalk, Connecticut, condemns behavior that harms, demeans or discriminates against any resident of our city; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that Norwalk condemns violence and speech that demeans undocumented workers, Muslims, blacks, women, the disabled, or members of the lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and gay community (LBTG); and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that none of Norwalk’s resources will be used to investigate, question, detect, or apprehend individuals for civil violations of immigration law; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that Norwalk employees and law enforcement personnel refrain from monitoring or participating in the surveillance of individuals, houses of worship, or political organizations absent a reasonable suspicion that they have committed a crime; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that Norwalk calls upon local and national government officials to respect the civil rights of undocumented as well as documented immigrants; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that Norwalk calls upon the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive, fair and humane legislation that recognizes the economic and cultural contributions of undocumented and documented immigrants; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that law enforcement personnel be prohibited by ordinance from racial profiling and in particular from stopping individuals for investigation or investigating individuals because of their perceived race, ethnicity, immigration status, religion, national origin, gender/sexual orientation, or disability unless there is reasonable suspicion, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links a person with a particular characteristic described herein to a crime that has been committed or is likely to be committed; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that, as Governor Dannel Malloy recommended, if an ICE agent approaches a school asking for student information or for access to a student, that agent should be referred to the Superintendent’s Office or to the office of an appropriate administrator designated by the Superintendent, and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that in accordance with State and Federal laws Norwalk’s police and law enforcement authorities will continue to cooperate with Federal immigration agencies in matters involving criminal activity and the protection of public safety; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that nothing in this resolution shall be construed to prohibit City employees and Norwalk police officers from cooperating with Federal immigration agencies when they are required to do so by statute, Federal regulation, court decision or a legally binding agreement, and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that Norwalk’s city clerk transmit a copy of this resolution to Governor Dannel P. Malloy and our representatives in Congress and the state legislature.