April 10, 2023
Washington, D.C. (May 26, 2017) — Several organizations and elected officials applauded Friday’s U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s decision to uphold the block on President Trump’s travel ban — with some saying the impact of the ban’s attempt is still affecting families.
On the very week that yet another federal court issued a resounding and stinging order rejecting President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban as “drip[ping] with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination,” data published by the State Department reflects that the Muslim ban is nevertheless achieving its purpose: Nonimmigrant visas issued to people from 50 Muslim-majority countries have fallen by nearly 20 percent, and visas issued to nationals from the six countries specifically named in the blocked executive order have dropped by a staggering 55 percent, said Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress.
“Despite multiple injunctions that have prevented the original ban and its replacement from ever being implemented, we are deeply concerned that the discriminatory ban is nevertheless being carried out,” Jawetz said. “We have observed a similar drop in refugee admissions caused by the Trump administration’s decision to essentially end new interviews and grind processing to a halt.It is important that federal courts have stepped in to block these executive orders and defend our commitment to constitutional principles. But we cannot be blind to the fact that this administration, driven by intolerance and fueled by fear, will nevertheless attempt to work its will. A win in the courts means little to the refugees stranded abroad and the potential visitors from Muslim-majority countries who are now being denied visas or who are afraid or discouraged even to apply.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, said the Fourth Circuit’s upholding of the injunction on the travel ban in an en banc 10-3 decision, prevents the government from blocking individuals from six Muslim majority countries from visiting or immigrating to the United States for 90 days. Additionally, the order also suspended the acceptance of all refugees for 120 days.
“We applaud the court’s decision to not reinstate President Trump’s executive order. Our immigration systems must be open to all peoples regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin,” said Vicki Shu, OCA vice president of public affairs. “This year marks 135 years since the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was followed with additional laws that excluded all Asians from immigrating to this country. While we celebrate the court’s affirmation that liberty and justice for all includes everyone, OCA will remain committed to monitoring this issue to ensure that biased and restrictive policies can never again become law.”
U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), said the travel ban is not only anti-Muslim and un-American, but fundamentally violates our constitutional right to freedom of religion.
“Both of the President’s failed attempts to discriminate on the basis of religion prove that his dangerous policies cannot be shrouded behind a false rhetoric of national security,” Chu said. “In fact, neither the Muslim ban nor Trump’s other xenophobic Executive Orders have anything to do with national security. Instead, they are thinly veiled attempts to discriminate against entire communities and they run contrary to many core American values. I applaud the decision of the Fourth Circuit today, whose ruling affirms that our fundamental values as a nation cannot be threatened.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, applauded the federal court in Virginia in refusing to lift the injunction, saying the ‘Muslim Ban 2.0′ executive order “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination” – an argument that has espoused since the first Muslim ban executive order caused international chaos and harm to Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities.”
“Today the majority of judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit saw through the hollow national security claims of this administration and struck a blow to those who seek to criminalize and demonize individuals on the basis of religion, ethnicity, and national origin.
Advancing Justice said the court’s ruling did not allow the same fear-mongering and propaganda to overcome the basic civil and human rights that immigrants and refugees should be afforded. Allowing the ban would have been a repeat of the shameful moments in history that led to the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 and saw nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II, the AAAJ statement said. This is a victorious moment, however, the fight is not over and the need to stay vigilant to any future efforts of backdoor policies such as overly broad and discriminatory visa procedures and screening for Muslim communities must be maintained.
U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-4), a member of the House Foreign Affairs and House Judiciary Committees, and an assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus, said that as an immigrant he applauded the court’s decision.
“The Fourth Circuit is spot on when it writes that Trump’s ban ‘drips with intolerance, animus and discrimination,” Lieu said. “As a veteran, I also stress the fact that Trump’s bigoted ban — couched within a misguided argument about our national security — does nothing to make America safer. In fact, Trump’s Muslim ban hands our real enemies like ISIL and al-Qaeda a powerful recruiting tool and undermines our relationships with partners abroad. There is nothing more un-American than undermining our fundamental value of accepting those who are fleeing tyranny, those who want to start a better life in the United States.  Thanks to the Fourth Circuit, some of America’s fundamental values are safe from Trump’s desire to gut them.”

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