June 12 – 16: What to Know & Do

Anti-Sharia Protest, Austin, TX

June 10 Anti-Muslim Protests 

On June 10th, Act for America, an anti-Muslim hate group, organized a series of national anti-Muslim protests called “March Against Sharia.” ACT members were outnumbered on Saturday by counter-protestors in several cities. In New York, three dozen people attended the “anti-sharia” rally, while the counter-protestors numbered in the hundreds. The counter-protestors, which included Muslim, Arab and South Asian community members, exclaimed slogans of inclusion and solidarity. Identity Evropa, a group of white nationalists, came to support the ACT rally in New York while Vanguard America, another white supremacist group, turned out in Harrisburg, PA.

In San Bernardino, a few hundred ACT protesters yelled slurs and rushed a group of counter-protesters. In St. Paul, 300 counter-protestors gathered outside the state capitol in response to the hate event happening inside. In Austin, the counter-protestors slightly outnumbered the anti-sharia protestors, and some held signs remembering those who lost their lives fighting Islamophobia and racism in Portland a few weeks ago.

The Southern Poverty Law Center updated a live blog documenting the rallies and standoffs between counter protestors and ACT. They also noted the presence of Oath Keepers armed with handguns at numerous protests. The SPLC considers the Oath Keepers to be one of the largest radical anti-government groups in the U.S.

pdx rally
Counter-Protest Rally, Austin, TX

June 14 CVE Hearing

On Wednesday, June 14, the Senate will be holding a hearing entitled “Ideology and Terror: Understanding the Tools, Tactics, and Techniques of Violent Extremism.” Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs chill civil and constitutional rights; encourage profiling and surveillance of innocent Muslims in America; are based on junk science; and have been widely denounced by civil society, including teachers and psychologists. For helpful resources on CVE programs, please visit the Brennan Center of Justice.

New Resource On Combatting Hate Violence

The Stop Hate Project, an initiative organized by the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, just released a new resource on combatting hate violence entitled, “Community Response Toolkit: When Hate Groups Come to Town.” The toolkit includes know your rights materials and best practices for community groups, law enforcement, and public officials for responding to hate violence.

New Resource On Human Rights & National Security

Amnesty International recently released a new resource entitled, “Human Rights in National Security: An Educator’s Toolkit.” The toolkit contains four modules, each providing lessons and resources on a key area of U.S. national security policy post-9/11, including drone strikes, global war, indefinite detention, torture, and surveillance.

Brutal Immigration Practices

In May, the Trump administration announced that it plans to end Temporary Protected Status in 2018 for about 580,000 immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti. TPS designation is granted to persons from countries embroiled in war, suffering from natural disasters and other adverse, temporary conditions. On June 7, Haitian and Central American activists announced they will be meeting this week with the Presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, seeking an extension of TPS status.

On May 31, Vicente Caceres-Maradiaga, 46, died from acute coronary syndrome as he was transferred from a private detention center in Adelanto, CA to a hospital. He is the ninth person to die in ICE custody this fiscal year. There were only 10 deaths in all of fiscal year 2016. Christina Fialho, Executive Director of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), said, “I have no doubt that the increase in immigration detention deaths is directly connected to both the increase in the number of people detained and the effective elimination of federal standards on humane treatment.” (BuzzFeed)

What to Do


June 5-9: What to Know & Do

Image credit: Beth Nakamura (Oregon Live)

What to Know

  • U.S. embassies began a new, intensive process for vetting visas. The tougher scrutiny was rolled out following Trump’s March 6 memorandum requiring enhanced visa screening. Beginning on May 25, both visitors and would-be immigrants may be given a three page supplemental questionnaire asking for passport numbers, travel history over the past 15 years, travel funding, and usernames for all social media accounts for the past five years. Though “voluntary”, not answering the questionnaire could be cause for visa delay or denial.
  • On Thursday May 25th the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit refused to lift the nationwide injunction on the Muslim and refugee bans and concluded in its ruling that the revised order, “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.” Reflecting on the #NoMuslimBanEver National Week of Resistance, Laura Li writes why As an Asian American I support #NoMuslimBanEver and its importance especially during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. On June 1, the Trump administration formally asked the Supreme Court to review the litigation and reinstate the Muslim and refugee bans.

What to Do – Action Items

Here are a few ideas for countering ACT’s hate and bigotry on June 10.

  1. Share a statement of value
  2. Host an alternate community-centered event
  3. Organize a counter-protest
  4. Engage with the media
  5. Pressure ACT to cancel event 

Please contact Madihha Ahussain at Muslim Advocates or Lindsay Schubiner at the Center for New Community if you would be interested in additional information on how to resist these protests. The following counter rally and march has already been scheduled:

Successes from the #NoMuslimBanEver National Week of Resistance

The #NoMuslimBanEver National Week of Resistance was successful, and we’re grateful to everyone who participated. The week coincided with oral arguments in the Muslim Ban litigation in the 4th and 9th Circuits.  More than 45 national and local groups participated in the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign, there was strong turnout at the #NoMuslimBanEver rallies in Richmond, VA and Seattle, Washington, and the hashtag #NoMuslimBanEver trended during our 5/9 Twitter Town hall.

Oral arguments in the 9th Circuit (Seattle, WA)

On May 15, a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case Hawaii v. Trump. Judges Michael Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez reviewed District Judge Derrick Watson’s nationwide preliminary injunction blocking President Trump’s revised Muslim Ban and refugee ban.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, arguing on behalf of the Trump administration, suggested that Supreme Court precedent should deter judges from second guessing “national security determinations that they’re sort of ill-equipped to do.” Judge Paez asked, “Would the Korematsu executive order pass muster under your argument?” and continued, “There was no reference to the Japanese in that executive order but look what happened.”

Wall also asked the judges not to begin a “wide ranging inquiry into subjective motivation” including Trump’s previous comments on Muslims because “the (executive) order on its face doesn’t have anything to do with religion and in operation doesn’t distinguish on the basis of religion.” Neal Katyal, a former Obama administration solicitor general representing the state of Hawaii, countered that Trump had never disavowed his previous comments and until the week prior had a press release on his campaign site calling for a “complete shutdown of Muslims.” Katyal noted that the executive order was rooted in discrimination and emphasized that “if you rule for him, you defer to the President in a way that history teaches us is very dangerous.” (CNNThe Guardian)

Our Twitter Town Hall on Islamophobia and Immigrants was held that same day and anchored by Avideh Moussavian (NILC), Ben Ndugga-Kabuye (BAJI), Lindsay Schubiner (Center for New Community), Patrice Lawrence (UndocuBlack) and Deepa Iyer (Center for Social Inclusion). The discussion explored the intersection of Islamophobia, anti-immigrant prejudice and anti-black racism.

Oral arguments in the 4th Circuit (Richmond, VA)

On May 8, an en-banc panel in the 4th Circuit reviewed the decision of Maryland District Court Judge Theodore Chuang, who held that the Muslim ban was likely unconstitutional and concluded that “the history of public statements [by President Trump] continues to provide a convincing case that the purpose of the second executive order remains the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban.” Judge Chuang blocked the Muslim Ban, but left intact the refugee ban.

Jeffrey Wall argued that the revised ban incorporated the concerns raised by judges in the Muslim Ban 1.0 litigation and noted that Trump “made it clear he was not talking about Muslims all over the world, that’s why it’s not a Muslim ban.” Omar C. Jadwat, a lawyer with the ACLU representing people and groups challenging the order, stated that the ban does not serve a valid national security rationale. He noted that the targeted countries are “not the list of countries you come up with” when determining those that pose the biggest threats to the U.S. (CNNThe Atlantic)

Our Twitter Town Hall on the Muslim/Refugee Ban was held the following day and anchored by Abed Ayoub (ADC), Asha Noor (CAIR-MI), Naureen Shah (Amnesty International) and Deepa Iyer (Center for Social Inclusion). The discussion explored the litigation, those impacted by the Muslim Ban and refugee ban, and local and national resistance efforts.

What’s next

If Trump loses in either the Fourth or Ninth Circuits, he would be unable to lawfully enforce the Executive Order and would have to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to Steve Vladeck, a CNN legal analyst and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, the real question will be “whether the two courts come out the same way. This issue may be bound for the Supreme Court no matter what, but it will certainly be heard by the justices if these lower courts disagree.”

April 17 – 21: What to Know & Do

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.

17 Reasons Why - 14Image credit: Muslim Advocates

  • 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 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 10 – 14: What to Know & Do

Image from The Middlebury Campus

What to Know

Visitors from other countries including those in the Visa Waiver Program (38 countries including the UK, France, Australia and Japan) could be forced to reveal cell phone contacts, social media accounts and passwords, and browsing and financial information under the Trump administration’s “extreme vetting” practices. Travelers could also be subject to an “ideological test” in order to be able to enter the U.S. In a joint coalition letter forewarning of these practices, civil liberties organizations, human rights groups, and legal experts argued that such practices would be a massive invasion of privacy and discourage business, tourism and journalism.

Since 2016, a number of bills have been introduced and passed in state legislatures restricting and punishing sanctuary campusesSB 2710, already signed into law in Mississippi, prohibits the formation of sanctuaries and invalidates all existing sanctuary policies by a “state agency, department, political subdivision of the state, county, municipality, university, college, community college, or junior college.” The state of Georgia passed HB 37, which will withhold state funding or state administered federal funding to private and public post secondary institutions which have sanctuary campus policies in place. Two bills have already passed through one chamber in both Alabama and Indiana; the bills are now working their way through the legislatures.

Islamophobia is Racism is a resource for Teaching & Learning about anti-Muslim Racism in the United States. The syllabus focuses on “how structures of violence, inequality, and war have produced anti-Muslim racism and discrimination” and describe “its wide-ranging impact on everyday life.” The syllabus includes essays that address recent events like the 2017 “Muslim ban,” and also show how “similar policies extend to both earlier moments and other communities.”

What to Do

April 3 – 7: What to Know & Do

What to Know

On Monday, the California Senate passed SB 54, unofficially called a “Sanctuary State” bill. SB 54 “bars state and local law enforcement agencies from using their resources, including money, facility, property, equipment or personnel, to help with immigration enforcement. They would be prohibited from asking about immigration status, giving federal immigration authorities access to interview a person in custody or assisting them in immigration enforcement.” SB 54 now heads to the California State Assembly, where the Democrats have a super majority, and if passed would likely be signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

In a two page memo released on MondayAttorney General Jeff Sessions ordered Justice Department officials nationwide to review reform agreements with police departments.” Since 2009, the Justice Department opened 25 investigations into law enforcement agencies and has been enforcing 14 consent decrees, along with some other agreements. Civil rights advocates fear that Sessions’s memo could frustrate prior agreements and imperil the status of agreements that have yet to be finalized, including a pending agreement with the Chicago Police Department.” To read why the review of police agreements matter, click here.

On Monday night, Trump signed legislation that repeals FCC privacy protections for internet users, rolling back rules that would have gone into effect later this year. The privacy rules, “would have banned Internet providers from collecting, storing, sharing and selling certain types of customer information without those customers’ consent. Data such as a person’s Web browsing history, app usage history and location details would have required a customer’s explicit permission before companies such as Verizon and Comcast could mine the information for advertising purposes.”

What to Do

Here are some upcoming events this week:

February 27 – March 3: What to Expect, Review & Do

What to Expect this Week:

A revised version of the Muslim ban is expected to be released by the White House on Wednesday. See article from WaPo.

Trump’s speech to Congress happens on Tuesday, Feb 27th. Here’s what he is expected to say. Counter-responses: United We Dream invites DC-based folks for a People’s Address, and the Advancement Project invites folks to tune into Facebook Live for a conversation about the State of Race.

What to Review this Week:

The Muslim Ban and subsequent DHS immigration memos have had a ripple effect, and have led to the discrimination and detention of numerous people outside of the original seven countries noted in Trump’s executive order.

On February 20,  Juhel Miah, a British citizen from South Wales was separated from his students and colleagues and removed from a plane in Reykjavik, Iceland headed for New York. Miah was subjected to questioning, a body search, and detained for hours. He had a valid visa for travel and does not hold dual nationality.

Muhammad Ali Jr., son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, was detained on his flight back from Jamaica to the U.S. for two hours. Border agents asked him, “Where did you get your name from? Are you a Muslim?” Muhammad Ali Jr., a U.S. citizen, was born in Philadelphia.

Widespread raids are cultivating fear and chaos in immigrant communities. The raids violate the due process rights of immigrants.

ICE Agents detained 55 people in immigration raids in Asian restaurants across Mississippi. A young woman protected under DACA barricaded herself in her house as ICE forcibly entered. A domestic violence victim was afraid to report her abuser because she feared she would be taken into custody for overstaying her visa. Fear is so high that children are being pulled out of schools and adults are scared to go to work.

What to Do this Week:

Get involved in local events in your area and resist Muslim Ban 2.0 and immigration raids.

On February 28, join the Resistance Rally at 6 PM outside the White House to protest Trump’s address to Congress.

Join #DullesJustice on March 1 at 7:30 PM at Dulles Baggage Claim 13 to learn how to volunteer and push back on what comes next.

Participate in an Immigration 101 Workshop with the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition on March 1 at 6 PM in Washington D.C.

Outside DC: Ohio State’s Muslim Students Associate hosts a Know Your Rights workshop with CAIR-Columbus on March 3 at 6 PM