Four Years After Leading the Fight Against Trump’s Muslim Ban at JFK, Immigrant Rights Advocates Celebrate Biden’s Rescission of the Ban and Unveiling of the U.S. Citizenship Act

New York, NY-Today, advocates, Muslim Americans, and the New York Immigration Coalition led a rally celebrating President Joe Biden’s rescission of his predecessor’s profoundly racist Muslim Ban and the unveiling of the U.S. Citizenship Act, which provides a path to citizenship for 11 million people without legal status.The legislation is part of a sweeping immigration agenda that included a stop to border wall construction, the fortification of DACA, the repeal of out of control interior enforcement orders, and extended protection for Liberians. 

The NYIC led a series of protests against the first Muslim Ban in 2017 beginning at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) on the day of the Ban and led additional actions against the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda throughout the city for the last four years. At today’s event, they were joined by impacted people, partners and immigrant advocates representing the wider immigrant community in NY and collectively called on our elected leadership to make the new legislation a reality. 

“Ending the Muslim Ban marks the beginning of erasing Trump’s heinous legacy on immigration,” said Murad Awawdeh, Interim Co-Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “After four years of family separation and racial profiling, we are grateful to bring to a close an era marked by so much pain and senseless cruelty in our Muslim communities. But we also know that much more is needed to ensure that all immigrants are protected and empowered. The U. S. Citizenship Act is exactly the legislation we need now. The Act recognizes how foundational immigrants have always been to America’s success and how critical they will be to our economic recovery from this pandemic and into the future. We will continue to work with the Biden Administration, our NY Congressional leaders and Majority-Leader Chuck Schumer to ensure that this critical legislation is enacted to assure the health and well-being of every single New Yorker.” 

“Four years ago, New Yorkers rushed to JFK to stand against the Trump administration’s racist and xenophobic travel ban on Muslim and African countries. Today we celebrate the repeal of these bans as we continue to fight to build a truly just and humane immigration system,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to address the harms perpetuated by the Trump administration and to create a path to citizenship for the undocumented.”

“By rescinding the Muslim Ban, President Biden has taken an important first step towards undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies enshrined by the Trump administration,” said Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Legal Director. “The Muslim Ban separated thousands of families and its cruel effects will continue to be felt for years to come. While we commend President Biden on honoring his promise to end the Muslim Ban, we will continue to advocate for families to be reunited and for a fair and just immigration system for all immigrant communities.”

"Throughout this entire pandemic, I have seen how the immigrant community has been left behind, including my parents who are still undocumented,” said Emili Prado, Legal Coordinator, La Colmena. “As a DACA recipient, as an essential worker that has been on the frontlines providing services to the immigrant community in Staten Island, Joe Biden must keep his promises and provide a pathway to citizenship to our immigrant community who have lifted the city of New York." 

“It was the collective work of Muslims and our allies that led President Biden to commit to repealing the Muslim Ban. While we welcome this critical move, we know it’s not enough. We don’t want to just go back to four years ago--we want to ensure true transformative change for all immigrant communities through immediate actions like a deportation moratorium and freeing our people from ICE prisons,” said Linda Sarsour, Co-Founder and Executive Director, MPower.