Immigration advocates rally against SCOTUS decision to uphold Muslim ban
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NEW YORK, NY – Over a thousand New Yorkers, immigration community organizations such as the Asian American Federation, The New York Immigration Coalition, Arab American Association of New York, MPower Change, Women’s March, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, International Refugee Assistance Project, Yemeni American Merchants Association, MCN, CAIR-New York, New York Civil Liberties Union, Islamic Center at New York University, and countless other advocates gathered at Foley Square in lower Manhattan on June 26, 2018, to rally against the Supreme Court decision announced this morning to uphold the Muslim Ban. The Asian American Federation is calling on its member agencies, advocates and community leaders, allies, and elected officials to stand together in solidarity.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s injunction that had—until December 2017—prevented the Trump Administration from using Muslim Ban 3.0 as a basis for denying visas to foreign nationals from eight affected countries.
In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor wrote: “A reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was driven primarily by anti-Muslim animus, rather than by the Government’s asserted national-security justifications. Even before being sworn into office, then-candidate Trump stated that ‘Islam hates us.’”
As with previous Supreme Court decisions that were wrong, the people of this country will determine our future as a nation. History has shown that progress and change comes from the people—from moments like the airport protests in the Muslim ban and from social justice campaigns that guide us on the path toward justice.
In 1857, the Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott that no people of African descent could be considered citizens of the United States. In 1944, the Korematsu decision validated the removal and internment of over one hundred thousand people of Japanese descent. Today’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii, upholding the President’s Muslim Ban, adds another shameful chapter to that history. Make no mistake, the President’s executive order is a Muslim Ban.
What today’s ruling will accomplish is the emboldening of dangerous xenophobes everywhere, from the President himself down to the individual citizens who see our government’s treatment of Muslims as a green light to do them harm. In the past two years alone, CAIR-NY has documented a nearly ten-times increase in the number of hate crimes and incidents of harassment against Muslims. In 2017, the number of assaults against Muslims reached a new peak, surpassing even the number of assaults recorded in 2001.
“The Federation stands by the Muslim American community,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation. “Asians have seen the negative impacts of discrimination throughout our history in this country. The Chinese Exclusion Act and subsequent limits on all Asian immigration as well as the Japanese internment are all expressions of fear and hate that impact the lives of millions of hard-working people and their families. This Supreme Court decision will go down in history as one that our country will come to regret, as it is fundamentally counter to the values of freedom and equality that we all hold dear.”
“Today thousands in NY and more across the nation unite in rejection of the SCOTUS ruling and to affirm our continued struggle against President Trump’s attack on our nations religious freedom, said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. Where the SCOTUS ruling has failed to safeguard religious freedom, the people of our communities remain undeterred to fight against discrimination and abuse, even if that abuse stems from the highest office in the land. Families egregiously separated and denied entry just because they are Muslim can rely on the fact that Americans will forever insist on the promise of equality for all.”
In its decision, the Supreme Court granted extreme deference to the Trump Administration, which gives the administration the green light to inject discrimination back into our immigration system.
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