Urges Public to Take Action In Requested Much Needed Hearings
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/20/2018)”” The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined a sign-on letter with 117 other national and state organizations, including the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), Oxfam, and MoveOn, urging the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees to hold Congressional hearings and conduct rigorous oversight on the Muslim Ban.
The 118 organizations representing millions of Americans are calling for the hearings within two months of the Congress convening on January 3, the start of the 116th U.S. Congress.
The letter in full can be read in full by clicking here. The letter in part reads:
To: Representative Elijah Cummings / Representative Jerry Nadler
“We, the undersigned 118 organizations, write to request the (House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform/ House Judiciary Committee) to conduct a hearing on Presidential Proclamation 9645 within two months after convening on January 3, 2019. Our organizations represent millions of Americans who have been directly impacted, have had family members directly impacted, or are deeply disturbed by the intent and consequences of Executive Order
13769, Executive Order 13780, and Presidential Proclamation 9645 – collectively known as the “Muslim Ban.”
“Congressional oversight of the Executive Branch is one of the pillars of our American democracy. As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Muslim Ban, Congress has yet to hold a single hearing focused on Proclamation 9645 or any of its previous versions despite the introduction of legislation to end the ban. This lapse of oversight is deeply concerning given that the ban is in direct violation of American values, four Supreme Court Justices found it unconstitutional, and it directly impacts U.S. citizens, including those who are unable to meet family and in some cases are indefinitely separated from family members.
“The Muslim Ban’s origins, numerous statements by President Trump, and the implementation of these and other policies impacting targeted communities make known its purpose to implement a discriminatory policy as a part of a white nationalist agenda – one specifically aimed at exclusion and which is the same driving force behind related policies such as taking away protections provided by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), family separation, threats to impose a wealth test on our immigration system and more. In fact, the same expansive national security justifications and presidential powers used to support the ban have been applied to other past and present discriminatory policies, including, most recently, the asylum ban the administration attempted to impose along the border. Congress was never given access to the 17-page Worldwide Threat Report that the administration produced to assess the security situation in nearly 200 countries in support of the Muslim Ban. The Trump administration refused to release the report and cited executive privilege. It is incumbent on lawmakers to formally and publicly question the relevant administration officials on the basis of their so-called threat assessment and to explore these discriminatory policies and their impact on the lives of people in the United States and abroad, including the repercussions of the stigmatization of Muslims and its role in the perception of the United States across the globe.
“This lack of oversight has provided the administration with wide latitude to pursue a discriminatory agenda. Proclamation 9645 permits waivers to be granted on a case-by-case basis if an individual demonstrates that “denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship,” their entry “would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States,” and their entry “would be in the national interest.” Seemingly hundreds if not thousands of people impacted by the Muslim Ban should satisfy these broad requirements. However, publicly available data suggests waivers are only approved in 2% of cases. As noted by Justice Breyer, there is “reason to believe that waivers are not being processed in an ordinary way.” Some consular officers have echoed these concerns and it appears the waiver clause is at best a disingenuous attempt by the administration to conceal the full breadth of the ban.
“The process by which waivers are approved or rejected remains hidden and the administration has failed to indicate what specific factors consular officers or the relevant departments and agencies use to determine waiver eligibility and/or approval. Vital information that impacts the lives of Americans and those around the globe – including the number of applications from banned countries, the status of those applications (denied, approved, pending), the number of waiver rejections, and the justifications for continuing the ban – remains unknown and the administration remains unaccountable.
“We have serious concerns that Congress has not held the Trump administration accountable or conducted sufficient oversight regarding the root of the Muslim Ban policy; its implementation, permanency, or expansion; and the waiver process. We hope that the incoming 116th Congress can rectify this error and therefore request that under your leadership, the (House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform/ House Judiciary Committee) immediately hold a hearing dedicated to answering these questions.”
On December 4, one year after the Supreme Court allowed Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into effect, CAIR joined NIAC, the ACLU, NILC, CAIR National, SAALT, Advancing Justice, MPower Change, CWS Global, Franciscan Action Network, other organizations, and individuals impacted by President Trump’s Muslim Ban, to deliver a petition signed by more than 150,000 individuals and endorsed by more than 27 organizations, urging the next Congress to take immediate action to rescind the ban.
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 misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.