SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) -Hours after the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban, Downtown Salt Lake City coincidentally hosted an event honoring immigrants.
The idea behind the Immigrant Heritage Celebration Tour sponsored by the organization Fwd.us is that nearly all our ancestors all from somewhere else and that’s represented by flag stickers on an “I Love SLC” art installation.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski placed the flag stickers of Germany and Poland to represent her ancestors.
“This city will always be a welcoming city,” she told the crowd.
But it’s a city in a nation that no longer welcomes immigrants from seven countries, including the predominantly Muslim nations of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
“This morning the decision came down upholding the travel ban,” Mayor Biskupski said. “Extremely disappointing and obviously we know it means lives will be lost and more families disrupted and broken apart.”
17 year old Saida Dahir’s family escaped war torn Somalia.
“I’m a Somali refugee. My country is one of those countries on the list,” Dahir said. “If this had happened maybe a decade ago or longer, I would not be standing here. I would still be in a refugee camp where I was born.”
She described the Supreme Court decision as “gut-wrenching”.
“It was a wakeup call to where this country is heading and it was devastating to me and my family,” Dahir said. “We are just like you, skin color aside, religion aside…We are human beings and we deserve to have every opportunity and every right to freedom to the pursuit of happiness, all the American dreams.”
Mayor Biskupski says despite the travel ban, Salt Lake City will remain immigrant friendly.
“We just continue to open our arms and say everyone is welcome here,” the Mayor said.
The “I Love SLC” art installation now moves to a permanent location on Main Street.