New York to Trump Administration: #NoMuslimBanEver

June 26th, 2018

New Yorkers march against SCOTUS decision to uphold Muslim Ban

NEW YORK, NY – This evening, advocates, faith leaders, affected individuals, and allies rallied against the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Trump administration’s racist and discriminatory Muslim Ban. Thousands of New Yorkers marched from Foley Square to Battery Park in solidarity with the national day of action to stand with Muslims across the country and the world.

Today, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Trump vs. Hawaii in favor of Trump’s Muslim Ban. The decision upholds the President’s authority over national security and immigration policy overall. In his decision, Chief Justice John Roberts refused to pass judgment on the soundness of the Muslim ban or the lawfulness of the President’s past statements against Islam. Instead Roberts held that the justifications for the ban were a proper exercise of the President’s foreign policy authority. Hawaii was therefore unlikely to win its case at the lower court, making an injunction inappropriate at this time.

The ban continues to be in place.

"Today’s Supreme Court ruling enshrines bigotry into policy under the pretext of national security, and represents a blow to the very values this country was built on. America will not be greater or safer by turning our backs on our Muslim neighbors, friends, and family. We will continue to march in the streets, and fight back in the courts to protect the people who truly make America great," said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

The state of Hawaii argued that Trump's executive order exceeds his executive constitutional powers, illegally discriminates based on nationality, and violates religious freedom laws by specifically targeting Muslims — an argument based on Trump's statements about a "Muslim ban." The administration claimed the president has broad powers over immigration policy and that the revised ban is appropriate given his constitutional authority on national security, not religion.

“This is a sad day in our nation’s history. Rather than reinforcing the notion that America welcomes people regardless of where they were born, what they look like or how they pray, the Supreme Court instead upheld a Ban, driven by anti-Muslim sentiment, that devalues equality,” said Linda Sarsour, Founder and CEO of MPower Change.

“The Arab American Association of New York serves to empower and advocate for the Arab and Muslim community in New York. We are deeply saddened by the Supreme Court’s ruling of the Muslim Ban, and enabling the administration’s immoral, Islamophobic and unconstitutional policies. This is a direct attack on our community that has fled war-torn countries to find peace and prosperity and an attack on their basic right to religious freedom. This ruling puts our members at further risk, and feeds into the administration’s inhumane immigration policies of separating families. We will continue to fight these policies and this SCOTUS decision day-in and day-out until all our immigrant communities are welcomed,” said Rama Issa-Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York.

“In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that African Americans ‘had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,’” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the imprisonment of more than 120,000 Americans for their Japanese ancestry. Today, that same court upheld President Trump’s Muslim Ban.  Like its predecessors Dredd Scott and Korematsu, today’s decision was unjust. And like its predecessors, this ruling will be condemned by future generations as a betrayal of the promise of equality and justice for all. Today is certainly a setback, but history teaches us that the fight is far from over. Muslim activists and allies will continue to fight for justice however we can. We will continue to challenge discriminatory immigration policies, lobby against unconstitutional surveillance, and pursue those who commit acts of violence against their Muslim neighbors. Trump v. Hawaii, like Dred Scott and Korematsu before it, is now part of our history, but it is far from the last chapter.”

“Today's US Supreme Court decision will go down in history where people 50 years from now will judge us by our actions. Let it be known regardless of the decision, we did everything in our power to defend the rights of our communities and we will continue to do so! We will win some and lose some, but our spirit of justice for everyone remains unwavering!” said Dr. Debbie Almontaser, Yemeni American Merchants Association.

“As Jews, we know how important it is to defend any community facing religious discrimination. From the day the Muslim Ban was first proposed, our Jewish community has been outspoken in our opposition to this xenophobic and Islamophobic policy. We will not rest until Muslim communities are safe and free and welcome in the United States. We are each other's people. We will always defend each other,” said JFREJ Executive Director, Audrey Sasson.

“President Trump’s efforts to restrict immigration from several mostly Muslim countries began only days after he entered office. Today, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a decision that effectively supports this administration’s efforts to unfairly target Muslim immigrants by banning travel from several majority Muslim countries. The travel ban, under the guise of national security, discriminates against foreign nations and violates religious freedom. By upholding the President’s authority over national security and immigration policy overall, Muslim and other immigrants will only be further demonized, families will continue to be separated, and those seeking asylum and medical needs will be denied.  Our standard must be righteous acts of compassion to those in need and not filters based on religion or ethnic and cultural backgrounds,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of FPWA.

“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.”

Background

The NYIC has been leading the fight against the Muslim Ban since January, 2017 when the first Executive Order came out, with the #NoBanJFK movement, and assisting travelers from over 20 countries and organizing hundreds of lawyers and volunteers. The protests at JFK sparked actions across the nation, including a rally held in Battery Park the next day, which drew over 30,000 people. In July, the NYIC was back out at JFK to monitor the situation and provide legal assistance if necessary.

Watch the documentary: “48 Hours at JFK

Trump’s third iteration of the Muslim ban– which would seriously limited travel and emigration from Muslim-majority countries Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, as well as, North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials– was issued on September 24th, 2017 and supposed to take effect October 18th, 2017. However, two federal judges issued temporary halts to the ban (preliminary injunctions), with the second judge issuing a 91-page ruling calling the ban an “inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban.”

In December 2017, the US Supreme Court issued a preliminary injunction that allowed full enforcement of Trump’s ban on travel from eight nations, six of which are Muslim-majority, while legal challenges proceed through the lower courts.

The bans against Venezuela and North Korea are not part of the challenge before the Supreme Court, and the administration removed Chad from the list on April 10th, 2018.


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