March 6, 2017

Organizations Express Concern Over the New Travel Ban Targeting Muslims


Photo tweeted by White House spokesman Sean Spicer
Presdient Trump signing New Travel Ban

President Donald Trump signing the new travel ban

Washington, DC – A long list of organizations issued statements condemning the new executive order signed by US President Donald Trump, to ban US entry to individuals from six Muslim-majority countries, and to suspend the refugee program. The previous order, which was blocked by a federal court, sparked confusion at airports and mass protests.

Noting that the new Executive Order, “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States” didn’t change anything about the discriminatory nature of President Trump’s attempt to ban individuals based on their faith and country of origin, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) President Johanna Puno Hester along with Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers issued a statement condemning the newly issued travel ban.

“Fascism at the head of our country is already having deadly effects on brown and black bodies, and we cannot let this order – or any other attempt or tactic of xenophobia, racism, and hate – stand,” read the statement, adding, “Across the nation, the lives of our families and friends are at risk simply because of who they are. No person should live in fear, and the new administration is doing the exact opposite by emboldening white supremacy into action.”

The statement called for the struggle against the growing anti-immigrant, anti-Black/Brown, and anti-Muslim sentiment “to happen both nationally and locally because we know we’re better than this,” concluding, “To remain silent is to be complicit in this institutionalized form of hate.”

SABA, NAPABA

The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) condemned the second attempt to exclude refugees and implement a Muslim ban, noting that the order, continued to 1) suspend refugee admission for 120 days, 2) reduce and limit the number of refugee admissions, and 3) targets individuals from six Muslim-majority countries, suspending entry of individuals for 90 days, with some exceptions.

“The President’s Executive Action does nothing more than advance an anti-Muslim agenda espoused during the campaign under the guise of National Security,” said SABA President Vichal Kumar.

“The executive order is a continuation of the same policy that discriminates against and devalues refugees and members of the Muslim community,” said NAPABA President Cyndie Chang, adding, “We must stand up for our values of equity, justice, and opportunity.”

SAALT

Another minority organization, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national South Asian civil rights organization, also strongly condemned the revised and stubbornly racist Executive Order effectively banning Muslims, rejecting refugees, and expanding surveillance on Muslim-American communities under the guise of national security.

“In a twisted dance of trial and error, the President continues his dogged pursuit of a Muslim ban despite national outrage and a unanimous Ninth Circuit decision blocking enforcement of his original Order,” stated Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT.

“No matter the legal gymnastics, this latest order is a thinly veiled assault on Muslims, immigrants, people of color, and the founding ideals of equality and freedom in the United States,” Raghunathan concluded,

AAI

“While the Trump Administration has tried to clean up its ‘Muslim Ban’ with a new Executive Order, nothing has really changed,” said AAI President James Zogby

“They have gutted the refugee program, denying tens of thousands of victims and their families the opportunity to find freedom and opportunity in a new home, and they are still banning individuals from our shores based on their national origin and faith. We are glad the Administration now realizes legal permanent residents have constitutional rights and Iraqis are human beings and as such worthy of individual consideration and due process but it’s time for the Administration to also realize that it is wrong to discriminate against an entire people because of their faith,” said the Arab American Institute (AAI) President James Zogby.

Travel Ban

Earlier President Trump signed the new executive order placing a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations. There was no usual pool coverage of the signing and the White House just issued a picture of the president signing the document.

Iraq – which was covered in the previous seven-nation order – has been removed from the new one after agreeing to additional visa vetting measures. Iraq has been taken off the banned list because its government has boosted visa screening and data sharing, the White House spokesman Sean Spicer told an off camera gaggle in the Brady Press briefing room today.

On the positive side. Ravi Batra, an eminent attorney based in New York said in a statement, “I am delighted that the revised travel been excludes from its grasp not only green card holders and holders of lawfully issues visas, but also the loyal and brave Iraqi citizens who have risked their lives to support American policy in Iraq.”

Joint Press Conference

The directive, which includes a 120-day ban on all refugees and takes effect on March 16, was unveiled by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

“The fact remains that we are not immune to terrorist threats and that our enemies often use our own freedoms and generosity against us,” said Kelly. Kelly added that unregulated and unvetted travel was putting national security at risk. None of the cabinet secretaries took any questions after the joint press conference.

“What a delight to see Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly working together in harmony to effectuate a calibrated policy change, that seeks to honor the Constitution as well as the President’s solemn duty to protect our public safety,” concluded Batra about the joint press conference.