#NoMuslimBanEver Campaign and National Mobilization

Over the past five weeks, over 70 #NoMuslimBanEver events were organized in more than 20 cities around the country. Regional anchors including the Council on American Islamic Relations (Los Angeles and Chicago), DC Justice for Muslims Coalition (DC), National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (National), National Network for Arab American Communities (Detroit and Brooklyn), One America (Seattle), Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (San Diego), Project South (Atlanta), and the Yemeni American Merchants Association (NYC) were among the many groups organizing events on the ground.

On October 18, the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign culminated with a national mobilization in Washington D.C. More than 3,000 people rallied in front of the White house and marched to Trump International hotel. The speakers, many of whom are from impacted countries, discussed the real-life impact of this discriminatory policy. Isra Chaker, a Syrian American and campaign adviser at the nonprofit Oxfam America, urged attendees to stay steadfast. She said, “we need to be able to keep the energy high and voice our disapproval of whatever version of the Muslim ban this administration comes up with.”

Allies such as Holly Yasui, the daughter of Min Yasui, the Japanese American lawyer who challenged the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, spoke about the urgency of learning from history, not repeating it. “He [her father] believed it was unconstitutional and absolutely wrong for the U.S. government to single out and punish a group of people solely on the basis of race or national origin,” Yasui said. “2017 is not 1942, but sadly – shamefully – we hear echoes of the Japanese-American internment today. Back then, it was Japanese-Americans. Today, it is Muslims.”

For more, please see Voice of America’s video on the 10/18 national mobilization.

Isra Chaker (left) and Holly Yasui (right)

Muslim Ban 3.0 in the courts

On October 17, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson of Hawaii largely blocked the Trump administration from implementing Muslim Ban 3.0, just one day before it was scheduled to go into effect. In  a 40-page decision granting the state of Hawaii’s request for a nationwide temporary restraining order, Judge Watson found that the latest ban “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.” He also added that the executive order “plainly discriminates based on nationality” in a way that violates federal law and “the founding principles of this Nation.”

The next day, U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland issued another halt to Muslim Ban 3.0, though to a slightly lesser extent. Chuang blocked the administration only from enforcing the directive on those with a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Chuang mentioned in his 91 page ruling that this third attempt at an entry blockade is the “inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban.” Chuang also wrote that Trump had promised a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” and all of his comments since then seemed to indicate his various entry bans were meant to fulfill that promise.

The Justice Department has vowed to appeal Watson’s ruling. Both Watson’s temporary restraining order and Chuang’s preliminary injunction are interim measures, meant to maintain the status quo as the parties continue to argue the case.

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