What to Know
- Muslim Advocates lays out 17 reasons the Muslim Ban is pure discrimination, including Trump continuously calling for a Muslim Ban on the campaign trail, his promise to add an immigrant religion test singling out Muslims, and Trump admitting that Christians would be given priority over Muslims as refugees.
Image credit: Muslim Advocates
- ICE intends to deport 4,000 Somali nationals in the coming months. There are roughly 76,000 Somalis presently in the United States and this mass deportation will deeply impact their community and others. Between Oct 1, 2016 and April 1, 2017, ICE deported 237 Somalis; a sharp increase from the 198 deportations that took place during the entire 2016 fiscal year. Somalia was one of the six countries named in Muslim Ban 2.0. Some claim that these deportations are the result of a backlog, and now that a Somali embassy is in place in Washington to issue travel documents, ICE is catching up. However, many community advocates believe that Somali nationals are being profiled and targeted by the Trump administration; others fear that these nationals may face persecution and other human rights violations if they return to Somalia.
- For more than 15 years, jails holding people on immigration violations were subject to an expanded set of regulations because those detained were considered “civil detainees” (ICE’s 455 page national detention standards). According to the NYT, “unlike people facing criminal charges, ICE detainees have no right to a lawyer to look out for their interests, and many do not speak English or have a criminal record.” These regulations were thus particularly important for civil detainees. Going forward, however, new jail contracts will be exempt from these regulations and the office that develops these regulations will be closed. Many of the services previously provided to civil detainees like translation services and “a current rule that detainees’ requests for medical care must be evaluated by a professional within 24 hours will be replaced by a requirement that the jails merely have procedures on providing medical care.”
- The Trump administration will temporarily stop publishing a weekly report (required via executive order in January) that singled out cities and counties that failed to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. As you may recall, many jurisdictions criticized this reporting as inaccurate and misleading. In addition, federal judges in PA, IL, and OR have ruled that detention orders issued by ICE without judicial warrants are unconstitutional and that counties could be held liable for following these orders.
- The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild issued a practice advisory on Remedies to DHS Enforcement at Courthouses and Other Protected Locations. Prior administrations had generally recognized that certain physical locations, including courthouses, houses of worship, and homeless shelters, were a protected sanctuary from immigration enforcement. Now that the Trump administration has abandoned this doctrine, this new advisory describes best practices for terminating removal proceedings if one is apprehended in a protected location.
What to Do – Action Items
- The Asian Law Caucus has prepared a sign on letter opposing a new social media data collection program by CBP. CBP intends to collect social media identifiers from long term visa holders from China; the policy is currently in public comment period until April 24. Collecting social media information has major civil liberties implications, and this particular proposal has a national origin bias in that it singles out Chinese visitors. Given Trump’s China bashing and the recent unjust targeting of Chinese Americans in the name of national security, we believe this policy would exacerbate racial and religious profiling, especially at the border, where Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian travelers have been disproportionately targeted. If you would like to sign on, please email Joyce Xi with the name of your organization as you would like it listed by April 21.
- April 13-14th | (NYC): New York University Bernstein Institute’s 2017 Conference Defending Dissent: Civil Society and Human Rights in the Global Crackdown
- April 20th | (Atlanta, GA): Being Muslim in Trump’s America: Fighting Back against Ramped Up State Surveillance and Repression presented by Project South, The American Constitution Society Georgia Lawyer Chapter, the Georgia Lawyer Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations
- April 21st | 2 PM EST: (DC) UMAA v. Trump Hearing at U.S. District Court for DC, Courtroom 2 – 2nd Floor jointly filed by Muslim Advocates, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. Register here.
- April 22nd | 12 PM EST: (Clarkston, GA) Project South Know Your Rights Workshop-Clarkston at Clarkston Community Center hosted by Muslim Law Student Association, Glitter of Hope Foundation, and Somali American Community Center
- April 23rd | 4:30 – 6:30 PM EST: (Bethesda, MD) Communities United Against Hate (CUAH) Launch at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School