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Scriptnotes: A Refugee Story

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In a break from regularly scheduled Scriptnotes programming, screenwriter John August spoke with his Quote-Unquote Apps collaborator Nima Yousefi about Donald Trump’s executive order banning Muslim1 refugees and others from entering the United States. It’s a great, simple listen that almost brought me to tears on my ride home last night.

Nima does amazing work with John. When he was just a baby, his family fled the Iranian Revolution for the US. Any delay on their asylum in the US was life or death. That’s not hyperbole; it’s fact.

Listen to the episode and let Nima speak to his own experience. His most salient point is that we are talking about people here. Real people. It’s easy to offer up armchair commentary about an order that won’t make a dent in your daily life. But just think about the fact that we’re talking about human beings here. This is happening, and it’s happening on our watch.

  1. The White House wants you to think this isn’t a Muslim ban, but it is. Just read the order (emphasis mine):

    Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.

    All seven countries covered under the EO are Muslim-majority countries. Meaning Muslims from those countries, according to this text, cannot emigrate to the United States as refugees. Hence: a Muslim ban.

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