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CAIR Action Alert: Urge Congress to Oppose Bill Slashing Legal Immigration, Favoring English Speakers

CAIR National logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/3/2017) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on all Americans of conscience to urge their members of Congress to not support the Trump administration-endorsed RAISE Act (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act), that slashes legal immigration in half from 1 million to 500,000 new Green Card holders and favors English speakers.


“Our nation's Statue of Liberty includes the famous quote: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ We do not exclude immigrants, refugees or visitors; nor do we deny them their due process rights or benefits once admitted,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.

Introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA), the RAISE Act would also eliminate Green Card preferences for extended and adult family members of U.S. residents, restricting immigration preferences for parents, siblings, and adult children of U.S. citizens.

Under the act, elderly parents of U.S. citizens would only be eligible for renewable temporary visas provided that they cannot access public benefits and their children can provide for all their healthcare needs.

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ACTION ALERT: CAIR to Offer 'Know Your Rights as a Hajj Traveler' Webinar in Wake of Trump’s Muslim Ban

(WASHINGTON, DC, 8/2/17) -- On Wednesday, August 9, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will offer a "Know Your Rights as a Hajj Traveler" community training webinar for those taking part in the upcoming annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The free webinar will be held at 7 p.m. EDT and will focus in part on travel issues related to the Trump administration’s “Muslim ban” executive orders. Hajj travelers, group leaders and others are encouraged to take part.

The training will also provide information about the rights of American citizens and green card holders, airport security agencies, “secondary” screening, body scanners, your rights at customs and U.S. entry points, the terrorist screening database, no-fly and selectee lists, the complaints process, and more. Common scenarios will be discussed.

Trainers include CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, CAIR-Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, and CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly.

NOTE: This webinar is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

WHAT: 'Know Your Rights as a Hajj Traveler' Webinar

WHEN: Wednesday, August 9, 7 p.m. EDT


CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR is also urging American Muslims traveling for Hajj to download its civil rights app and to utilize this resource to report any problems that occur during outbound travel and the return to the United States.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here:     

[MEDIA NOTE: Each year, thousands of American Muslims take part in religious observances associated with the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Hajj is one of the "five pillars" of the Islamic faith. (The other pillars include a declaration of faith, daily prayers, offering regular charity, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.) Pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey. When the main portion of the pilgrimage is completed, Muslims worldwide will gather for communal prayers on the first day (on or about September 1) of Eid ul-Adha (eed-al-ODD-ha), the second of the two major Muslim holidays.]

CAIR offers an informational pocket guide, "Your Rights and Responsibilities as an American Muslim," which states in part:

"As an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel. It is illegal for law enforcement officials to perform any stops, searches, detentions, or removals based solely on your race, religion, national origin, sex, or ethnicity."

SEE: CAIR Know Your Rights Guide: Your Rights as an Airline Passenger

Other CAIR Hajj-specific travel recommendations for Muslim travelers include:

* Check any baggage containing Zamzam water bottles that you bring back to the U.S. Airlines will NOT allow you to carry liquids in large quantities on the plane, so be sure to check Zamzam and other liquids. (Zamzam water is drawn from a well within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and has religious significance for Muslims.)

* If you are bringing back dates, make sure they are processed and sufficiently dry. You may consider vacuum sealing your dates to ensure freshness and to minimize the likelihood of contamination.

* When packing, ensure that your shoes are cleansed of any soil. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has strict rules regarding entry of soil and chemicals into the country.

* If you are bringing back items worth more than $800 per person, declare them using the CBP Declaration Form made available by airline staff when landing. If you do not declare items worth more than $800, CBP may confiscate them.

If you believe your rights have been violated, you may call CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR Action Alert: Print Out Legislative Fact Sheets for Meetings with Members of Congress During August Recess

CAIR is urging American Muslims to take advantage of the August congressional recess -- during which members of Congress return home to spend time with their constituents -- by scheduling in-district office meetings or attend town halls to build greater momentum on issues already being supported by Muslim organizations, activists and communities nationwide.

CAIR Action Alert: Muslim Voters Urged to Meet with Members of Congress During August Recess 

We are encouraging Muslim community members to print out downloadable copies of legislative fact sheets CAIR prepared for distribution to members of Congress and their staff at town halls and to leave behind during one-on-one meetings.

CAIR leave-behind documents prepared for the August recess include:

CAIR Legislative Fact Sheet: 115th Congress: Support Legislation That Protects the U.S. Constitutional Rights of American Muslims

CAIR Legislative Fact Sheet: Opposing Limits on Free Speech & Boycotts, Reject the Israel Anti-Boycott Act

CAIR Legislative Fact Sheet: In Support of a Congressional Resolution Recognizing the Contributions of Our Nation's Muslim Citizens

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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