STAMFORD, Conn. – Stamford Mayor David Martin blasted President Donald Trump's executive order banning immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries and has asked police to increase security at the city's mosques.
“In immediate response to the President Trump’s executive order, on Saturday I spoke with Police Chief Jon Fontneau about security at local mosques and asked him to increase already existing patrols at these locations. This was done to provide for the safety and security of our Muslim residents," Martin said. "I am concerned that actions like the President’s executive order will reinforce preexisting religious discrimination. Already, since the executive order was signed on Friday, we have seen this occur in Quebec."
Trump signed an executive order Friday banning immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. The action sparked widespread protests throughout the weekend in airports and cities across the country. On Sunday evening a gunman opened fire in a mosque in Quebec City, killing six and injuring 17, though it was still unclear Monday whether the shooting was related to recent political events.
Martin criticized the executive order and said he was not sure if it would have the desired effect of keeping Americans safe.
"Stamford is an incredibly diverse community with people of different religions and ethnic backgrounds. I do not believe that this executive order makes our city safer," he said. "This type of scapegoating and singling out of one religion emboldens hate and fear. This actually makes us less safe because it makes it easier for terrorists to recruit members and for those already feeling marginalized to feel more isolated."
The executive order, which also denies entry of refugees into the country for 120 days, has left many people stranded as they attempted to enter the country. Several lawmakers, including Connecticut's Democratic Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, have proposed legislation to undo the executive order.
"Everyone is welcome in Stamford. We embrace and celebrate our diversity," Martin said. "My discussion with the Police Chief asking for added security is one of many steps we are taking to ensure everyone in our city is safe. A meeting with religious and community leaders was already being planned. It is now more urgent than ever to bring everyone to make residents feel safe and secure in their homes and religious institutions.”