KANSAS CITY – Hundreds of people gathered in a Kansas City church on Sunday, February 5, in a special vigil to support immigrants and refugees who were targeted by Donald Trump’s executive order late last month.
“We are Americans,” said Sofia Khan, MD, the KC for Refugees co-founder who spearheaded organization of the vigil, calling the event “beautiful,” xx reported on Monday, February 6.
“And when we see a disconnect between what politicians say is best for us and what we as Americans feel, we are going to stand up peacefully and say something. We wanted to show that we are united as a diverse community.”
Khan was speaking at a vigil hosted by Overland Park Christian church last Sunday.
The event, planned immediately after Trump’s immigrants’ ban, was attended by more than 1000 people who crowded inside the church to hear speakers representing a wide range of backgrounds and faiths.
It followed Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries came into effect.
The order temporarily bans entry to refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Syria.
At the church, people took seats at the main sanctuary as well as the dining hall and adjacent courtyard.
KC for Refugees board member Mandy McKinney said she estimated around 1,300 were on hand at one point.
The speakers worked in two shifts to ensure attendees heard each speaker’s message regardless of where they were seated in the facility.
Majid Mourad, who moved to the United States with his wife and daughter six months ago after having served as an interpreter for coalition forces in northern Iraq, is one of the speakers.
Mourad’s brother was an interpreter as well who was killed while aiding the coalition troops.
“For me, for the first time of my life, I feel safe,” he said. “And America is my home now.”
KC for Refugees will donate the more than $7,000 currently raised through its new Go Fund Me campaign along with more than $3,000 raised at the vigil Sunday to JVS, Kansas City Della Lamb and Catholic Charities, three local agencies that work to resettle refugee families here.
“I wanted people to know that it’s important not just to support national groups like the ACLU, which are very important, but also the local agencies here,” Khan said.