Fashion Icons Protest Trump Immigration Diktats

It’s now the turn of fashion icons to protest Donald Trump’s new immigration rules. At the New York Fashion Show, 81 of the who’s who of the fashion industry joined hands to declare solidarity with immigrants in the country who now face likely deportation after being in the USA for decades.

But before going into the details of their protest, a brief summary of Trump’s orders would help understand the situation better. There is a misconception that it is a blanket ban on immigrants but in reality it is exactly not so.

Who then will be deported?

Under the new directives, the government “no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.” This effectively means that there is now no bar on immigration agents picking and removing anyone charged with or convicted of any criminal offense, major or minor. What is more frightening is that this holds true also for those already ordered deported irrespective of whether they have a criminal record.

Another of the draconian laws that has been formulated goes under the nomenclature “expedited removal”. Under the previous administration, anyone caught 100 miles of the border within 14 days of illegal entry would be summarily deported. Now, it would also include those who have been in the USA for up to 2 years and staying anywhere in the country. Again, the new laws have a clause that includes possible prosecution of parents of children who arrived in the country as unaccompanied minors and were later reunited with the parents. The parents could now be charged of smuggling or trafficking.

Given these circumstances, many countries including Canada have decided to take in immigrants and Immigration Lawyers in Vancouver are working overtime to ensure that those relocating to Canada do not face any complexities.

This is only the tip of the iceberg and there are a lot more such stipulations in the President’s latest orders. And it is against these fearsome laws that the fashion community has registered its protest at the New York Fashion Show.

The dissent is primarily to send a message to the President that those who really matter in the fashion world are solidly grouped in support of immigrants and that they realize and acknowledge the tremendous contribution made by immigrants to the fashion industry. Trump’s executive order that prevents Muslims from seven countries from entering the USA has been roundly criticized by those who matter at the Fashion Week. This has captured the attention of the world more so because they include even legal residents and valid visa holders from these countries.

The mode of remonstration was simple. The fashion stalwarts just stood in front of the camera and made the monumental statement, “I am an immigrant”. The video for W Magazine titled “I am an immigrant” has fashion models, designers, photographers, stylists, editors and activists of the likes of Adriana Lima, Winnie Harlow, Diane von Furstenburg, hrabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzarra lending their voice against the laws against migrants that will be enacted soon.

The video is a mix of genders, skin colours, languages and hairdos, all going to prove that the outrage is international and impacts every section of society at large and the fashion industry in particular.

Nowhere is the sentiment more aptly put than in the closing statement of Diane von Furstenberg, herself a Belgian-American designer. “I am an immigrant” she says adding, “America has been good to me.”

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