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Kal Penn has started a CrowdRise fundraiser in the name of a commenter who told him he doesn't belong in America

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January 29, 2017 10:32 AM

Kal Penn is clapping back at his haters with a fundraiser for Syrian refugees.

The 39-year-old American actor has started a CrowdRise fundraiser in the name of a commenter who told him he doesn’t belong in America.

The message appeared to be written in an Instagram post of Penn’s, in which he spoke out about the personal effect President Donald Trump‘s “Muslim Ban” is having on him and his friends.

“Families are being torn apart,” Penn wrote. “Shame on us. This is un-American. ‬What Donald Trump and the Republican Party are doing is wholly unAmerican.”

His online critic responded, “you don’t belong in this country you f—— joke.”

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Penn, who worked in President Obama‘s administration as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement and plays fictional White House Press Secretary Seth Wright on the hit ABC show Designated Survivorwas born in Montclair, New Jersey, to Gujarati immigrant parents.

Responding to the racist claims with a charity effort is an example of the love Penn sees in the United States, he said.

“We are better than the hateful people who tell us we don’t belong in our own country, that America can’t be a beacon of freedom and hope for refugees from around the world,” Penn wrote in the fundraiser’s description. “We will turn their bigotry, along with the President’s, into love.”

Within 30 minutes of the fundraiser’s posting, it had already received over $5,000 in donations. By Sunday afternoon, he had raised over $300,000.

Penn’s response is just one of the many ways in which Americans are responding in opposition to President Trump’s executive order, which he signed Friday.

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The order temporarily bans any refugees from entering the U.S., indefinitely bans refugees who hail from Syria and temporarily bans citizens from several Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

The president also said in the order that Christians and other minority religions from Muslim countries should be given preferential treatment when entering the U.S. over Muslims.

Titled “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” the order closes the nation’s borders for four-months. For 90 days, visas will also not be issued to nationals from several Muslim countries — Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iran. This ban would apply to anyone from those countries visiting the U.S., not just people seeking asylum or looking to immigrate.

At New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport on Saturday, protests broke out featuring hundreds of people standing in solidarity with the detained refugees. Many documented the gathering on social media, including Melinda Taub, a writer for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee. 

“No hate, no fear — refugees are welcome here,” people chanted. One person even held a sign quoting the testament of Jesus: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

City council member Carlos Menchaca, chair of the immigration committee, gave a rousing speech where he told the crowd, “We will fight. We will stay until everybody is released. These are our families.”

A formal vigil is being held outside the terminal beginning at 6 p.m.

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