#NoMuslimBanEver Campaign and Muslim Ban 3.0

#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.

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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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Muslim Ban 3.0

Announcement of Muslim Ban 3.0

On Sunday night, Trump issued a proclamation indefinitely banning almost all travel to the U.S. from seven countries – Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea –  and imposing country specific restrictions as well. A small group of citizens from Venezuela will face restrictions and heightened scrutiny too.

Following yesterday’s announcement, the U.S. Supreme Court removed the October 10 oral arguments from its calendar, and asked the parties in the case for additional briefing to be filed by October 5.

Muslim Ban 3.0 will go into effect on October 18. The addition of three countries does not negate the anti-Muslim intent of the original ban. Of the eight countries targeted, six are Muslim-majority; North Korea has a negligible number of people who receive visas; and the application to Venezuela is extremely limited.

“We cannot forget the families hurt most by this hateful and discriminatory Muslim Ban, and we will continue to fight every day for their civil rights,” said Zahra Billoo, the Executive Director of CAIR – San Francisco Bay Area. “This latest delay is just one step in a long legal process. We will not be deterred in continuing to challenge the President’s multi-pronged assault of hate directed toward communities of color.”

For deeper analysis, see the Muslim Ban 3.0 Fact Sheet from Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights, Muslim Advocates and ADC. Additional information can be found here.

Update on the #NoMuslimBanEver National Mobilization

The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign will be moving its national mobilization in DC from October 10 to October 18, the day on which Muslim Ban 3.0 will go into effect. 

Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers of the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign said, “Impacted and allied communities from around the country will continue to fight this discriminatory policy and the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign will continue. We will continue to resist this immoral and unconstitutional Muslim Ban and any new bans in all forms, in all venues, and in all ways—no matter how long it may take to achieve justice.”

We ask you to join the campaign by raising awareness through events, forums, dialogues,  and actions, and by attending the national mobilization on October 18 in Washington, D.C.

You can register events and attend events in your local community by visiting the campaign website, which also provides graphics and a toolkit to help organize your event.

Events

Project South will be hosting three events this week, a Know Your Rights Training on 9/28 (Harvey, LA)a seminar on Representing Arab and Muslim-Americans in Challenging Times on 9/29 (New Orleans, LA) and a mock tribunal Clarkston Peoples Assembly: Laws, Rights, and Our Power! on 9/30 (Clarkston, GA).

The Voices of Resistance: #NoMuslimBanEver Twitter Town Hall hosted by 18MillionRising.org will be on Thursday 9/28 at 1 pm ET. It will be anchored by MPower Change, NNAAC, One America, Project South, Yemeni American Merchants Association, and PANA and moderated by Arjun Sethi. Please join the conversation by following #NoMuslimBanEver.

9:28 Town Hall

Sept 11 – 15: What to Know, What to Do

Coalition launches #NoMuslimBanEver National Mobilization

The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign is a grassroots awareness and mobilization effort happening in the weeks leading up to and on October 10, 2017.

On October 10, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear two cases about the Muslim and refugee bans, Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. Hawaii. The Supreme Court will decide whether the executive order from the Trump Administration that temporarily bans travel from six Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) and suspends the refugee admissions process violates the Establishment Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

We ask you to join the campaign by raising awareness through events, forums, dialogues,  and actions, and by attending the national mobilization on October 10 in Washington, D.C.

You can register events and attend events in your local community by visiting the campaign website, which also provides graphics and a toolkit to help organize your event.

Anniversary of 9/11

The 16th anniversary of 9/11 was remembered yesterday with events and conversations nationwide. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) held 30 Queer Azaadi (Queer Liberation) protests, community funerals and other actions in cities with regional partners honoring people impacted by state and White supremacist violence. Online conversations through #MySept11MuslimStory brought communities together to discuss their racialized experiences of Islamophobia and racism post-9/11.

Community leaders also reflected on their own experiences since 9/11. Urooj Arshad wrote an essay entitled, Why This Queer Came Out as Muslim on 9/11, and Maha Hilal penned a column entitled, The War On Terror Has Targeted Muslims Exclusively. Deepa Iyer also wrote about the toll that crisis and rapid response has taken on activists and organizers in Reckoning With Trauma 16 Years Later.

Online action by hate group ACT for America met by counter protests

In the wake of the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, hate group ACT for America rescheduled their 67 “American First” rallies for an online action this past Saturday targeting immigrants, Muslims and refugees.

ACT’s “Day of Action” was met by online counter protests from over 200 local leaders, constituents, and civil rights organizations organized by Center for New Community and Muslim Advocates. Many also sent letters to mayors asking them to “unequivocally condemn white supremacist and anti-Muslim hatred and make it clear that bigotry and violence are not welcome” in their communities.

9th Circuit rules against Trump and for refugees

On September 7, a three-judge 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that refugees who have relationships with a resettlement agency are exempt from Trump’s executive order. They found that the government did not persuasively establish why the Muslim and refugee bans should be enforced against close relatives of people (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) from the six Muslim-majority countries or refugees with guarantees from resettlement agencies in the U.S. The 3-0 ruling takes effect on September 12.

“We welcome the court’s decision and stand ready and able to resettle more refugees as a result,” said Erol Kekic, Executive Director of Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee program. “Even though this decision comes at the tail end of the fiscal year and after tens of thousands of refugees have already been denied, even one additional life is worth saving.”

Action Items

September 12 | 5:30 PM (Washington D.C. – Capitol Hill): SAALT and National CAPACD are leading a Rally to #CounterACTHate in #OurNeighborhoods. Learn more here.

September 15 | 9 AM (Washington D.C. – George Washington University Law School): Annual conference on Building National Security On Inalienable Rights: Voices from the Ground

Learn more about events happening in your local community on #NoMuslimBanEver from now until October 10.

Aug 28 – Sept 1: What to Know, What to Do

Image by New York Immigrant Coalition via Facebook

Hate group cancels “America First” rallies

After thousands of people protested against white nationalism and white supremacy in Boston last weekend, the hate group ACT for America canceled their 67 “America First” rallies. They will hold an online day of action on September 9 instead.

The primary agenda of ACT for America is to peddle anti-Muslim policy and rhetoric. CAIR, SPLC, and the Center for New Community has documented the increasingly close relationship between ACT for America and other hate groups, including neo nazis, white supremacists, and armed militias. Vanguard America and Identity Evropa were active participants in ACT for America’s June 2017 hate rallies.

In response to the recent spike in hate violence, CAIR launched an app to share critical know your rights information and to streamline the process for reporting hate crimes and bias incidents.

Amendments introduced to cut off funding for Muslim and refugee bans

Representatives Conyers (D-MI), Levin (D-MI), Kildee (D-MI), Dingell (D-MI), and Lawrence (D-MI) have filed an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill to prevent federal funds from being used to implement key provisions of Trump’s Muslim and refugee bans. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) has offered a similar amendment that would prohibit funding for Trump’s Executive Order as well.

ICE plans to outsource data collection on 500,000 people a month

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) wants to create a new data system to monitor as many as 500,000 undocumented immigrants a month. The system would streamline 17 sources of information, including phone numbers, place of employment, insurance, and payday loans. In ICE’s request for production published on the federal contracting website in early August, ICE describes it as a “continuous monitoring and alert system” that features contemporaneous, real-time data.

After Trump reinstated the Secure Communities program in January, which requires local authorities to share fingerprints, immigration status, and other arrest data with federal officials, there has been widespread resistance via sanctuary policies. ICE’s new data collection system, however, seeks to circumvent sanctuary efforts by consolidating all personal data on undocumented immigrants no matter where it resides.

Privatization of inhumane detention

Since December, the Los Angeles Times reports that there have been five reports of attempted suicide at the Adelanto privatized immigrant detention center in California. Detainee deaths, suicide attempts, and hunger strikes over inhumane conditions and cruelty are commonplace at this GEO Group operated facility. The GEO Group receives a fee of up to $112 per day from ICE for each detainee.

Burgos Mejia, a 28 year old asylum seeker fleeing from gang violence from Honduras, arrived earlier this year at Adelanto. As soon as he entered Adelanto he felt like he was treated like a criminal, not a refugee, “It’s the most horrible [feeling]…from the moment that they chain you up from your feet and hands.”

No Sanctuary under new Justice Department Rules

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sued the Department of Justice on August 7 over Trump’s threat to cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities like Chicago. The lawsuit focuses on the new rules attached to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, which provides funds to local governments to purchase police vehicles and equipment. The new rules require local governments to provide federal immigration authorities open access to jails and notify them 48 hours in advance of any plans to release an inmate wanted on an immigration detainer.

Action Items

August 28 | 11 am – 7 pm (Washington D.C.): The New York Immigration Coalition and member organizations are holding a prayer and rally in front of the White House to demand justice for DACA and TPS recipients, and to call on President Trump to rescind his immoral and unconstitutional Muslim and refugee bans.

Schedule:

11:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Stand witness in front of White House, interact with those passing by, and learn about DACA, TPS and the Muslim and refugee bans. Take action and call DHS, the White House or your members of Congress.

August 7-11 What to Know and Do

Zoom interview with stranded Diversity Visa lottery winners
Image by Dr. Debbie Almontaser via Huffington Post

Minnesota Mosque Bombed

This weekend someone threw a bomb into the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Minneapolis. While no one was hurt, the mosque was badly damaged, and worshipers and leaders are shaken by the attack. Governor Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and other elected officials visited the site and spoke with mosque leaders on Sunday. Dayton remarked, “if the roles were reversed, it would be called a terrorist attack. And that’s what it is, an act of terrorism.”

Faith leaders, like Rev. Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, condemned hate violence, noting that “an attack on a mosque is an attack on a synagogue is an attack on a church is an attack on all faith communities.”

Leaders at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center have setup a a Gofundme page to raise money to repair the damage from the bombing.

Ambassador of “Religious Freedom”

On July 27, the White House nominated Sam Brownback, the Republican governor of Kansas, to be ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Under Brownback, Kansas was the first state to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program. Muslim civil liberties groups have expressed concerns about the nomination. Brownback has a history of “rushing to sign anti-Islam legislation designed to vilify Muslims” and should be barred from holding the post, said the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim advocacy organization in the U.S.

“America First” Anti-Muslim Protests

ACT for America, the nation’s largest anti-Muslim grassroots organization, has scheduled another series of anti-Muslim rallies across the country under the banner “America First.” The rallies are scheduled to take place on September 9 and seek to exploit the 9/11 anniversary to promote bigotry & racism.

The paradigm of “America First” has been widely embraced by white nationalists, a core constituency of ACT for America. They previously convened rallies in June, and attracted anti-government militias, white nationalists, and skinhead groups. Imagine2050 provides more information here, including how you can push back against these rallies.

Thousands of Diversity Visa Winners Stranded by Muslim Ban

Thousands of visa lottery winners from the six targeted countries who were expecting to immigrate to the U.S. for permanent residency have been turned away because of the Muslim Ban. The “diversity visa” lottery program is a pathway to U.S. residency for citizens from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.

The ban will expire on Sept. 27, three days before their eligibility for green cards expires. According to Reuters, “given the slow pace of the immigration process, the State Department will likely struggle to issue their visas in time.” For Yemenis, the situation has been extremely difficult. Since the U.S. does not have a diplomatic outpost there, Yemenis have to travel to other countries, many to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia located 4,000 miles away, in order to obtain their visas. Yemenis in Malaysia, Djibouti, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria and elsewhere are now in limbo as many have already sold their assets in Yemen and are living on their last dime. Yemeni officials have initiated talks with the State Department to find a way to help diversity lottery winners get to the U.S., but a State Department official declined to comment.

To aid these lottery winners, a Launchgood Campaign: Yemenis Affected By Trump’s Muslim Ban was launched to help this community get food, pay their rent and all else failing, a ticket home.

In addition, on August 4, Jenner & Block, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of the District of Columbia, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the National Immigration Law Center filed a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. State Department’s refusal to process visa applications for winners of the U.S. Diversity Visa Program lottery from the six countries targeted by President Trump’s Muslim ban. The plaintiff writes in the ACLU’s blog, “My wife and I are frozen, unable to make decisions about what to do next. I don’t know when to give notice to my work or if we should sell our house. I can no longer envision what the future holds for us.”

ICE in the Courtrooms

California officials say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have shown up twice at California labor dispute proceedings searching for undocumented workers who reported their employers for labor violations. Since November, ICE agents have been targeting the Van Nuys and Santa Ana locations of the Labor Commissioner’s Office looking to apprehend undocumented workers, sometimes arriving 30 minutes in advance of employer meetings and dispute proceedings. Julie Su, the state’s labor commissioner and the agency’s head, suspects employer retaliation and that employers accused of underpaying employees routinely tip off ICE about the status of their workers.

Action Items

We encourage people to plan events and discussions between now and October to raise awareness of the impact of the bans, and to center the stories and perspectives of the communities most affected. Send us information about your event for the NoBanNoWallNoRaids community calendar.

  • August 15 will be a National Day of Action around DACA and a coalition of organizations is circulating a statement of support declaring that We Are With Dreamers. You can read the statement and sign-on at bit.ly/WithDreamers.
  • Refugee Council USA provides an August Recess Toolkit with letters, alerts, and talking points about major refugee issues Congress needs to address.

July 24-28: What to Know and Do

Image by Geoff Livingston via Flickr

Muslim & Refugee Bans 3.0 Legal Update

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson ruled against the Trump administration’s implementation of the Muslim and refugee bans, Judge Watson found that extended family, including grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States, counted as “bona fide relationships” and that refugees who have an established relationship with American refugee sponsorship organizations could not be banned. The White House immediately appealed to the Supreme Court, seeking to reinstate its interpretation.

On July 19, the Supreme Court affirmed Judge Watson’s decision in part, finding that the administration could not impose a blanket prohibition on people from the six Muslim majority ban countries who have grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives in the U.S. But it also granted the government’s request to put on hold a part of the lower court’s order that would have made it easier for more refugees to enter the country. That order could have granted entry to about 24,000 refugees who were already working with resettlement agencies.

The National Immigration Law Center announced in a press release that although “family unity won today,” it will continue to litigate “to ensure that refugees can find the shelter they were offered by settlement agencies in the United States.”

The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for October 10. For additional information, please review this full timeline of the Muslim and refugee bans curated by HIAS and this legal implementation timeline created by Muslim Advocates and Penn State Law School.

Impact of the Ban

Meanwhile, “Trump Is Stealthily Carrying Out His Muslim Ban” through other insidious means like, “increasing administrative hurdles and cementing or even expanding the current travel restrictions that are not under review at the court.” The State Department is likewise intensifying “extreme vetting” practices by demanding that visa applicants submit years of personal data including social media account identifiers.

On July 18, the House of Representatives held a vote on Trump’s Muslim Ban. Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) called for a vote in the Appropriations committee, hoping to block DHS funding for any implementation of the Muslim ban that would ban a grandparent, grandchild, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin of a U.S. person. The amendment failed because every Republican, except Charlie Dent, voted against it.

The ban has deeply wounded black and African persons and families because nearly half of the targeted countries are in Africa. Juweiya Ali, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen and a home health aide in Seattle, is the lead plaintiff in Ali v. Trump, a class-action lawsuit on behalf of four families seeking to reunite with their minor children. Ali’s 7-year-old son currently lives with his grandmother in Somalia and was in the final stages of receiving a visa when the ban was implemented. The child’s visa process has now been suspended indefinitely.

Essence reports that since the inception of the ban, “some 60,000 already issued visas—the result of years of screenings and paperwork—were revoked without warning, prompting travelers to file dozens of lawsuits against the current administration.”

Action Items

We encourage people to plan events and discussions between now and October to raise awareness of the impact of the bans, and to center the stories and perspectives of the communities most affected. Send us information about your event for the NoBanNoWallNoRaids community calendar.

July 17 – 21: What to Know & Do

Image by Masha George via Flickr

Muslim & Refugee Bans 3.0 Legal Update

On July 14 federal district court judge Derrick Watson struck a blow to the Trump administration’s enforcement of the Muslim and refugee bans. The court ruled that the Trump administration’s interpretation of “bona fide relationship” was too narrow and “represents the antithesis of common sense.”

The judge found that the government cannot “exclude grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States,” nor can it exclude refugees who “have a formal assurance from an agency within the United States that the agency will provide, or ensure the provision of, reception and placement services to that refugee, or are in the U.S. Refugee Admission Program through the Lautenberg Program.” The Muslim and refugee bans are still in effect, but the ruling narrows their reach. The Trump administration has appealed the decision directly to the Supreme Court.

Impact of Bans

Although the courts have limited implementation of the bans, a partial ban is still a ban. In addition, the bans have a chilling effect and discourage immigration to the U.S., especially from Muslim majority countries and refugees generally. The Washington Post reports that the number of refugees entering the U.S. in the first six months of 2017 is down 34% from the prior year and the number of Muslim refugees is down 40%.

Despite having a valid J-1 visa, Mohsen Dehnavi, an Iranian cancer researcher, and his family were sent back to Iran shortly after landing at Logan International Airport on July 12. Dehnavi was traveling to the U.S. to serve as a visiting scholar at Boston children’s hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School. CPB declared him “inadmissible” and denied a report that it was due to the Muslim Ban. However, because of conflicting interpretations of the SCOTUS ruling and “bona fide relationships,” arbitrary decisions are being made at airports and U.S. embassies across the world.

Targeted Deportations

More than 1,400 Iraqi nationals in the U.S. have been protected from deportation due to a nationwide injunction valid until at least July 24. Federal district court judge Mark Goldsmith halted deportations while he considers a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 114 Iraqis arrested in the Detroit area in June. There have also been ICE raids in the Nashville area targeting the Kurdish community; “officers have been knocking on doors and asking questions without warrants, surrounding people with vehicles and going to their workplaces.”

  • For the American Muslim Advisory Council’s resources, including Kurdish-language videos and an intake form, please visit https://www.amactn.org/ice
  • For Iraqi nationals facing removal, please complete this ACLU intake form. For attorneys willing to provide pro bono counsel, please complete this form.

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