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CAIR Calls on First Democratic Debate Moderators to Ask About Muslim Ban, Accepting Refugees

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/19/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, today called on NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo moderators of the first 2020 Democratic primary debate to question 20 presidential candidates about their plans to respond to President Trump’s Muslim Ban and the all-time-low cap on the annual number of refugees admitted into the United States.

In a statement, CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw said:

“All Americans, including Muslims, immigrant and refugee communities, have a right to know how each candidate plans to address the Muslim Ban and the all-time-low cap on the annual number of refugees entering the United States.”

“CAIR is calling on debate moderators to elevate the Muslim Ban and refugee cap during the debate as critical issues that are fundamental to our nation’s ability to claim it respects religious freedom and is an open society.”

McCaw added that yesterday, Democratic presidential candidate Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar released her plan of more than 100 actions for her first 100 days as president, which included a pledge to “End the travel ban.”

In March, Democratic presidential candidate New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated at a town hall that, “I will stand up against white nationalism, and I will repeal the Muslim ban as soon as I am president of the United States.”

McCaw also noted that as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, CAIR does not endorse any particular candidate or political party for any office.

In April, CAIR joined a coalition of 127 other national and state African, Arab, Iranian, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian American communities; interfaith partners; and civil, education, human and immigrant rights allies, in a joint letter to all national political parties requesting that they include repealing the Muslim Ban and reversing the all-time-low cap on the annual number of refugees admitted into the United States as signature issues in their 2020 party platforms.

READ: Open Letter Calling on all U.S. Political Parties to Adopt Platforms that Repeal the Muslim Travel Ban, Reverse Historic-Low Cap on Refugees   

About the First 2020 Democratic Primary Debate

The debate is being hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo, and will air live across all three networks and their online platforms starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on June 26 and 27.

The debate is being moderated in Miami both nights by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, MSNBC prime-time host Rachel Maddow, and Noticias Telemundo and NBC Nightly News Saturday anchor José Díaz-Balart.

The June 26 debate will feature: Mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio; Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; New Jersey Senator Cory Booker; Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke; Washington Governor Jay Inslee; former Maryland Representative John Delaney; Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard; and Ohio Representative Tim Ryan; and, former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro.

The June 27 debate will feature: Former Vice President Joe Biden; Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Colorado Senator Michael Bennet; California Senator Kamala Harris; California Representative Eric Swalwell; Indiana South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper; author Marianne Williamson; and, entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

CAIR is 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. 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos. 


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,, 202-744-7726

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