Muslim Families Join Springfield Trump Protest

Jan 31, 2017

Families gather outside the Old State Capitol.
Credit NPR Illinois

Members of Springfield’s Muslim community turned out for a demonstration on Monday against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Fatsma Mustafa is visiting her son and his wife. She has plans to fly back to Iraq in March, but she's not sure whether she'll be able to come back to the U.S. to visit again. “I have a visa to come back. I don't know if I can,” she said.

Her daughter-in-law is Luma Jasim, a U.S. citizen who grew up in Iraq. She says her mother-in-law came to Springfield on a tourist visa, “and we’re afraid if she goes back she doesn’t come back.”

The protest was outside the Old State Capitol. Jasim teared up listening to a speech from a Syrian lawyer, who talked about the civil war and refugee crisis going on in her native country.

“That’s the one thing I love about America, is that you can speak your thoughts and you can be open about it. Where we come from you could never speak up to what you think and protest against the government," Jaim said.

Jasim's husband is a student at the University of Illinois Springfield. He’s from Iraq and is a permanent resident of the U.S. There’s been confusion about whether people with his green-card status are affected by the president’s order or not.