San Francisco, CA, 10/24/17 - Today, the Trump Administration announced it would continue to restrict refugees from 10 Muslim-majority nations by imposing new security measures put in place to discriminate against Muslims. While the Administration’s latest executive order does allow refugees to be admitted into the country as a part of the refugee resettlement program, it places extreme vetting measures on refugees from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea and subjects these refugees to devastating delays they should not have to endure. These eleven nationalities made up 44% of arrivals in FY 2017, primarily from Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Iran.
Every country, except the North Korea and South Sudan, is a Muslim-majority nation. This discriminatory policy, indicative of the Administration’s larger, xenophobic immigration agenda, represents yet another attack on Muslims and refugees. In response to this news, Elica Vafaie from Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Zahra Billoo from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Avideh Moussavian from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) released the following statements:
Elica Vafaie, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice:
“Again and again, this administration has shown a propensity to discriminate against refugees and immigrants based solely on their country of origin and religion. This Administration’s xenophobic agenda attempts to use national security as an excuse to limit the immigration of families and children of refugees who are in dire need of our help and any delay is another day in acute danger.”
Zahra Billoo, CAIR Representative:
“This is yet another attempt at a discriminatory Muslim Ban. Under the guise of national security, this administration has created new vetting measures to slow the process of reuniting families and children of already vetted refugees from Muslim-majority countries. The intention is clear, this is a discriminatory attack on Muslim refugees who are seeking a new home here in America. We will not allow this attack on American Muslims or any other attack like it to stand, and we will continue to fight discrimination in any form and in every way possible.”
Avideh Moussavian, Senior Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center:
“These new, clearly discriminatory measures are once again aimed at blocking Muslims from coming to the U.S. These new policies will have devastating consequences for the families of refugees who have already waited long enough to start their lives in the United States, and we shouldn’t delay that any longer. This is simply another attempt by the President to abuse executive authority and discriminate against Muslims, and unfortunately in this case, those most in need of America’s protection.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation's members are: Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice - AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, Advancing Justice - Atlanta, and Advancing Justice - Chicago.
CAIR, is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
The National Immigration Law Center is exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. Our mission is grounded in the belief that every American—and aspiring American—should have the opportunity to fulfill their full potential regardless of where they were born or how much money they have. Using our deep expertise in a wide range of issues that affect low-income immigrants’ lives, we work with communities in courtrooms and legislatures to help advance policies that create a more just and equitable society for everyone.
The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign is organized by a coalition of national and local civil rights and Muslim advocacy groups who are leading efforts around the country to fight against President Trump’s latest unconstitutional Muslim Ban, as well as other discriminatory immigration policies that criminalize and negatively impact American Muslim communities and immigrants across the country.