WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (June 26, 2017) — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 announced that it will hear the government’s appeal of the lower court rulings blocking the Muslim ban, while also reinstating part of the administration’s original Muslim ban to restrict some travelers from six Muslim-majority countries.
The allows foreign nationals with close familial relationships with someone in the U.S. to live with or visit the United States. It also allows workers who accept an offer of employment from an American company, students enrolled in an American university, or a lecturer invited to address an American audience to come to the United States.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, is deeply disappointed in the Court’s decision and vows to continue providing immediate support to impacted members of the Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities.
After the first Muslim ban, staff members from our affiliation were among the first responders at airports across the country working to secure the release of individuals unlawfully detained at airports. As litigation worked its way through the courts, we have provided legal and Know Your Rights assistance to impacted communities, and have opposed efforts to establish backdoor Muslim ban policies. Advancing Justice joined the Korematsu Center in filing amicus briefs in multiple courts against the administration’s Muslim ban executive orders.
Advancing Justice said it is deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court sided with fear while blindly ignoring the hardships faced by refugees and visa seekers. Many Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities have suffered greatly since the first Muslim ban was issued. The administration’s Muslim ban foments disturbing trends of anti-Muslim sentiments within the U.S. and abroad. The Supreme Court should not have allowed any part of the Muslim ban to move forward while this executive order is under review, AAAJ said.
The Muslim ban restrains travel and freedom of movement for the communities affected without a rational basis. Any attempt to limit travel based on religion or country of origin is an egregious attack on the Constitution. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II to the Muslim ban today, xenophobia has fanned the flames of fear and hatred, driving immigration policy in irrational ways.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits got it right in declaring the Muslim ban unconstitutional. We will continue to oppose any and all threats to the communities we represent. We will stay vigilant to any future efforts from every part of this administration to ban religious or ethnic communities, including through backdoor policies.”
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said the U.S. Supreme Court decision ignores the Islamophobic origins of the policy and emboldens Islamophobes in the Trump administration. The court said the ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority nations could be enforced as long as those individuals lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Justices will hear arguments on the case in October.
“In January, Americans joined Muslims in their outrage of the Muslim Ban which resulted in thousands of people across the country putting themselves on the front line for their Muslim neighbors at airports and rallies across the country,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “As attacks on Muslims increase, this decision emboldens the Trump’s Islamophobic policies” and reverses our nation’s call to “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We will continue to call on our allies to continue the fight for the civil rights.”
“It is unfortunate that this ban plays politics with those who have followed the strictest possible vetting rules, namely refugees. Some have been vetted for over a decade yet Trump suddenly pulls out the rug from underneath them. This plays into the hands of those hatemongers who say that America is against Muslims and that Muslims are not welcome in America,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Amir Malik.”
CAIR Minnesota warned citizens of the six targeted countries who are present in Minnesota as lawful permanent residents, students, workers, or tourists to consult with an immigration attorney before traveling overseas.
CAIR Minnesota also informed families, schools and businesses that they can continue to sponsor foreign nationals from the six Muslim nations to travel to the United States in some circumstances. Foreign Nationals who wish to visit close relatives inside the country will also continue to be able to obtain visitor visas to travel to the US.
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is concerned that the State Department sought to further clarify what constitutes immediate family which includes: parents, parents-in-law, spouses, children, adult children, sons- and daughters-in-law, and whole or half siblings. Extended family which include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancés and any other extended family members are not considered “bona fide relationships.”
The Supreme Court will have a full hearing in the fall regarding the Travel Ban, after which they will decide on its constitutionality.
“It is chilling that the Supreme Court has decided to disregard the full rulings of the lower courts and allowed any part of the executive order to go into effect before hearing the arguments,” said Vicki Shu, OCA national vice president of public affairs. “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have established and built vibrant communities because of sponsorships through familial relationships. We urge compassion and support legal efforts to stop this travel ban and hope that the Supreme Court will find it unconstitutional.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific American Islanders (AAPI’s.)