Breaking News Emails
After daily phone calls and emails to her state senator protesting President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration left her unsatisfied, one Oregon woman picked up a glue stick and a red Sharpie for a new approach.
Winona Dimeo-Ediger, 31, mailed about 50 post-card sized tweets over the weekend to the offices of Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan, calling out the two politicians for what she described as flip-flopping on Trump’s immigration ban.
Dimeo-Ediger is encouraging others to do the same using a publicly available template she created. The executive order signed Friday bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, refugees from around the world for 120 days, and Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and joined by several states argue the ban amounts to a religious test specifically targeting Muslims.
Trump has denied that claim.
"This is not about religion," Trump said in a statement issued Sunday evening. "This is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order."
"After so many days of phone calls, emails, and online petitions, it felt good to do something tangible, using my hands and a glue stick," Dimeo-Ediger told NBC News about her new approach at protest.
In a widely-shared tweet from December 2015 that remains archived on his gubernatorial page, Pence wrote, “Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.” That same day, he reiterated his statement in front of reporters.
Ryan sent a tweet in August that read, “A religious test for entering our country is not reflective of America’s fundamental values. I reject it.”
Dimeo-Ediger saw contradiction between the earlier tweets and Pence's and Ryan's current positions over the entry ban. The freelance writer who focuses on feminism and politics said the tweets motivated her and her brother to create a template that would print the tweets as 4x6 postcards. A Facebook post urging others to mail Pence and Ryan the postcards has drawn more than 4,000 shares.
“I saw Paul Ryan's tweet first and then Mike Pence's [tweet]. It was unfathomable to me that they had taken such a principled stand in the past, but now that the immigration ban was real, they had either fallen silent or changed their stories completely," Dimeo-Ediger said. "I wanted to figure out a way to confront them with their own words and remind them that it's not too late to do the right thing."
The two Republican leaders have been criticized for not speaking out against the ban as thousands protested it in airports across the country. Pence stood behind the president as the order was signed into law on Friday, and Ryan broke his weekend of silence by defending the entry ban Tuesday afternoon.
"I support the refugee resettlement program," Ryan told reporters. "We're a generous country. It's important, but we can be generous and watch our national security at the same time."
Some Republican leaders have joined Democrats in condemning Trump’s immigration ban, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The two issued a joint statement over the weekend saying the order would alienate Muslims and become a “self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”
Others Republicans who spoke out against the ban include Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.