Posted by Nadia N. Aziz on February 02, 2017 in Blog
There are important legal challenges moving forward against President Trump's Executive Order banning Syrian refugees and temporarily suspending our refugee program. Before, during, and after these legal challenges are considered by federal courts, AAI is calling for cities and states to pass resolutions condemning the Muslim Ban. Below we have provided draft text that Arab Americans and our allies can present to their state and city legislators to be introduced and voted on. It is important for individuals states step up to denounce President Trump's un-American and unconstitutional actions that discriminate on the basis of religion. It is also key that members of our community lead the charge in welcoming refugees, dispelling xenophobic myths about national security concerns with the refugee program, and that we continue to keep this in the headlines.
For more information or for support in your advocacy efforts, please email GovernmentRelations@aaiusa.org.
Resolution Opposing Muslim Ban
WHEREAS, Immigrants seeking a better life have enriched our nation’s culture, increased our productivity and innovation, and bolstered our economy; and
WHEREAS, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order on January 27, 2017, that undermines our American values and panders to fear, bigotry, and nativist instincts; and
WHEREAS, The executive order bans individuals from Arab and Muslim-majority countries of Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Somalia from entering the United States for 90 days, prevents all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, and indefinitely suspends the entry of refugees from Syria; and
WHEREAS, The executive order titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” ignores the fact that many being denied entry are themselves victims of terrorism; and
WHEREAS, The executive order is an affront to religious freedom – a principle so cherished by our nation’s founding fathers that it was included in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, The executive order was executed in a haphazard manner without having been fully vetted by the very departments charged with protecting our national security, such as the federal Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the United States Department of State, and the United States Department of Defense; and
WHEREAS, As an immediate result of the executive order, individuals in possession of current visas have already been detained or turned around at airports across the country, resulting in chaos, confusion, deep anxiety, and hardship; and
WHEREAS, President Trump has falsely stated there is no refugee-vetting system in place. Refugees are subjected to the most stringent vetting system of any traveler seeking entry into the United States – a system that can take up to two years or longer to complete; and
WHEREAS, Over fifty years ago, the federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin, in order to eliminate prejudice and bias from the immigration process and provide all countries with equal access to the quotas; and
WHEREAS, The federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 explicitly limits presidential authority by stating that no person could be “discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence,” and the only exceptions are those expressly granted by the United States; and
WHEREAS, The executive order seeks to resurrect discriminatory immigration polices based on national origin and therefore, is in direct violation of this long-standing federal law; and
WHEREAS, The history of the United States includes shameful actions, including exclusionary laws targeted at the Chinese, Japanese, and all Asians in the so-called Asiatic Barred Zone, and the “national-origins system,” which aimed to exclude most Eastern Europeans, Asians, and Africans from entry into the United States; and
WHEREAS, The day after the executive order was issued, a class action lawsuit was filed and a federal district court in New York issued an emergency stay, which will stop federal officials from deporting individuals with approved refugee applications, holders of valid visas, and people form the seven impacted countries who have secured authorization to enter the United States; and
WHEREAS, This court decision by Judge Ann M. Donnelly states, “There is imminent danger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa holders, and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017, executive order”; and
WHEREAS, Federal courts throughout the nation have also issued emergency stays, which will stop federal officials from deporting individuals with approved refugee applications, holders of valid visas, and people from the seven impacted countries who have secured authorization to enter the United States;
Now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by [Jurisdiction], That [Jurisdiction] condemns this executive order as a discriminatory overreach that illegally targets immigrants based on their national origin and religion, and urges the President of the United States to immediately rescind the executive order; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the [Jurisdiction] urges the federal Department of Homeland Security to comply with the federal court orders as quickly as feasible, and immediately permit detained individuals to have timely access to legal counsel; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the [Jurisdiction] condemns any action by the government to profile, discriminate against based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the [Jurisdiction] stands in solidarity with minority and targeted communities and in the strongest terms denounces bigotry.