texas

Homeland Security Forum Planned In Austin

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order suspending the nation’s refugee program for at least 120 days and suspend visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

It’s a topic of debate across the nation and the conversation will heat up in Austin where a Homeland Security Forum is scheduled for Thursday morning. State Rep. Kyle Biedermann is spearheading the “Defending Against Radical Islamic Terrorism in Texas” forum.

"In recent years we have seen over 100,000 illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico crossing over our southern border annually,” Biedermann said in a statement on his website. “These illegals hailed from countries outside of Central America, from places like Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Biedermann is gathering a number of advocates including Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne.

“With the rise of radical Islamic terrorism at home and throughout the world, homeland security must be our top priority," Beidermann’s statement continued.

A group of activists from across North Texas oppose the forum. This group consists of members of the ACLU of Texas, the Human Rights Committee of Dallas and the Peace and Justice Center. They urge the lawmakers to not participate in the forum.

“I think what he is doing to Muslims in Texas is nothing short of attempting to stigmatize them and discriminate against them," attorney Sahar Aziz said. “At least create a discriminatory environment through this survey that is nothing short of a loyalty oath and harks us back to the McCarthyism era when people were guilty by association.”

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