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CAIR-CA Publishes 2019 Annual Legal Services Report Showing Jump in Immigration Cases

(SANTA CLARA, CA, 08/19/19) The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today announced the release of a statewide annual legal report showing a jump in immigration cases reported to CAIR-CA offices across the state.

CAIR-CA’s ‘Annual Legal Report 2019’ summarizes and analyzes all civil rights and immigration complaints in 2018 reported to CAIR-CA’s offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, (CAIR-SFBA), San Diego (CAIR-SD), the Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA), and the Sacramento Valley (CAIR-SV).

According to the report, CAIR-CA legal staff handled a total of 2,191 incidents in 2018, nearly identical to the reported incidents from the previous year. The incidents reported involved complaints related to religious-based discrimination, anti-Muslim bias incidents and immigration assistance matters received by all four CAIR-CA offices.

Key highlights of CAIR-CA’s new report include the increase in immigration matters reported to our offices, recording a jump of 19 percent from 2017, given the brew of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies still pervading public discourse and government-sanctioned policies and procedures.

Of the 2,191 incidents in 2018, 1,282 were handled by CAIR-LA, 489 by CAIR-SFBA, 239 by CAIR-SV, and 181 by CAIR-SD. The categories receiving the most incident reports for 2018 were immigration (55.0%), employment discrimination (7.8%), law enforcement interactions (6.1%), hate incidents or hate crime (5.1%), and travel matters (4.7%). 

Bolstered by the addition of two new programs in the CAIR-SFBA and CAIR-SV offices, CAIR-CA’s Immigrants’ Rights programs assisted in a total of 1,203 immigration-related matters, with an increase of nine percent in naturalization petitions from the previous year. Other key categories of immigration assistance were in adjustment of status (112 matters), petition for alien or future relatives (111 matters), removal defense (57 matters), and asylum (37 matters). CAIR-CA’s Civil Rights Departments assisted community members in the areas of employment discrimination or accommodation (170 matters), FBI and law enforcement (133 matters), 113 hate incidents (113 matters), and travel-related concerns (102 matters).

SEECAIR California’s Annual Legal Report 2019 

“The scapegoating of particularly vulnerable communities, especially Muslim and immigrant, amongst others continues unabated,” said CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area’s Civil Rights & Legal Services Coordinator, Ammad Rafiqi. “This year’s Annual Legal Report highlights the many ways in which anti-Muslim bigotry affects the lives of American Muslims on a daily basis.”    

CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.

CONTACT: CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo, 626.252.0885, 

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