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Michigan educator to travel to Washington to lobby against President Trump's temporary travel ban

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 18:24:25-05

A Michigan educator is headed to Washington, D.C. in hopes to lobby leaders within the government to make quick changes to President Trump’s temporary travel ban.

Nathan Kalasho, the President of Keys Academies, has a close relationship with the refugee community in Michigan. He founded Keys Grace Academy in Madison Heights, a school made up of refugees. His students makeup span a rich and diverse background, including four of the countries involved in the ongoing travel ban.

“No one denies that national security is of the utmost importance here,” said Nathan Kalasho. “We just feel this executive order was rushed.”

Kalasho said the move surprised many of his student’s families. They’re already reaching out to him to discuss their concerns.

Kalasho, who is also involved in a global organization to support the protection of minorities in Iraq and Syria called A Demand for Action (ADFA), said he originally had scheduled meetings to lobby about ongoing issues in recently liberated Iraqi communities where Christians are having difficulties returning to their native homes. When the executive action putting a stop to the refugee process, and temporarily banning travel from seven countries, he quickly began to make changes for his planned trip.

A Syrian woman who left her home after her husband’s kidnapping more than a decade ago was among the first to reach out to him asking questions about the travel ban. She spent 11 years waiting in Egypt before she was cleared to come to America with her six children. Those students now go to Kalasho’s school.

“She said that phone call (about coming to America) was more than the world to (her),” said Kalasho. “Because a country was going to be taking (her) in and (she) didn’t have a country in the first place.”

President Trump has heard the opposition, but has defended his moves on immigration. He has also reacted to people calling the action a ban on Muslims.

“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” said Trump in a release from the White House. “This is not about religion -- this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

On Tuesday House Speaker Paul Ryan called it regrettable that the rollout wasn’t smooth, but told reporters he’s still stood behind the Trump administration’s actions.

“I think regrettably, the rollout was confusing but on a go-forward basis I'm confident that Secretary Kelly is going to make sure that this is done correctly,” said Ryan.

Kalasho is expected to leave for Washington, D.C. Tuesday night to begin his lobbying efforts.