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CAIR Seeks White House Clarification on DHS Proposal to Use National Guard for Immigration Roundups

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/17/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Trump administration to clarify the origins and current status of a draft U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposal to mobilize National Guard troops to round up millions of undocumented immigrants.

According to The Associated Press (AP), a document that bears the name of DHS Secretary John Kelly and was addressed to the heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), calls for the militarization of immigration enforcement in 11 states. A White House spokesperson said the report was “not a White House document.” A DHS official described the proposal as an early draft. AP reported that it sought comment from the White House on Thursday and from DHS on Friday, but had not received a response from either.

AP: DHS Weighed Nat Guard for Immigration Roundups

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

“The proposed use of our nation’s military personnel in such a manner is eerily reminiscent of the dark days of World War II when Japanese Americans faced similar treatment.

“If this proposal is ever implemented, we urge state governors to use their executive authority and discretion to withhold deployment of National Guard units to round up undocumented immigrants, and to instead provide sanctuary to those targeted by federal actions.

“There is simply no justification for using such excessive force to round up and deport people, including the relatives of American citizens, who have not demonstrated that they a danger to this country. 

“We urge the Trump administration to clarify the origin of this un-American proposal and to state unambiguously whether it is currently under consideration for implementation.

“By initially refusing to respond to media inquiries on this issue, government officials have created an unnecessary and counterproductive sense of panic in immigrant communities.”

Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated are being asked to contact local police and CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html  

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 Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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