Statement from Tod Story, Executive Director of ACLU of Nevada:

While we mourn the tragic loss of life as a result of recent terrorist actions in Paris and elsewhere, we must cling to the values that set us apart from those who seek to do us harm.

We are a nation of immigrants. Our families were drawn here for generations by our country’s principles of self-determining liberty, and freedom. When statements singling out ethnicities, races, or places of origin are made to limit immigration, we must remember our own family histories. To do otherwise leads us to the outcomes the terrorists desire. Have we not learned from the shameful periods of discriminatory nationalism from our past?  Let’s not revive those ugly, unconstitutional episodes again.

Given our own histories, we should welcome all immigrants—especially now that Syrian refugees seek to protect their families from the strife and terror they are fleeing. Which one of us would not do the same for our families?

States have no power or authority over federal immigration law, so statements to the contrary are nothing more than demagoguery, fueling a fervor of fear. Why compound the suffering of refugees by shunning them when they seek a better life for their families? It’s the very reason most of us are citizens.

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