Facebook Censorship Remains Problematic Despite Response to Coalition Concerns

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on January 19, 2017 in Blog
Last Fall, the Arab American Institute joined more than 70 civil rights organizations in pushing Facebook to explain and improve its censorship of content. Many activists from social justice movements like the Black Lives Matter movement, the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors, and the Palestinian solidarity movement have complained about content being removed from Facebook without cause. When challenged about the troubling censorship Facebook cited Community Standards, but we wrote to demand more information and improved practices.
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SCOTUS Should Affirm Constitutional Rights Are For All

Posted by Nadia Aziz on January 18, 2017 in Blog

The Obama Justice Department will spend its final 48 hours fighting against the rights of post-9/11 detainees at the Supreme Court later today in the case of Ziglar v Abbasi. At stake is the ability of the detainees to challenge unconstitutional policies by seeking damages from federal officials. The case itself stems from the post 9/11 roundup of hundreds, often based on nothing more than unfounded reports, discrimination, or outright bias. In fact, a Justice Department IG later rebuked officials for the “indiscriminate and haphazard” way in which they erroneously classified many of these individuals as terror suspects....

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Meet Trump's Cabinet Nominees

Posted by Arab American Institute on January 09, 2017 in Blog

Over the course of the next several weeks, the U.S. Senate will hold confirmation hearings for many of President-elect Donald Trump's nominees for Cabinet positions and key Ambassadors. Click on the links below for background on each nominee, the responsibilities he or she would be taking on if confirmed, and the pressing questions the Arab American Institute wants each nominee to answer before the Senate and the U.S. public. [posted in order of their confirmation hearings]

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AAI's Questions for Rep. Mike Pompeo at Senate Confirmation Hearing

Posted by Arab American Institute on January 09, 2017 in Blog

Rep. Mike Pompeo will will appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday, January 11th at 10:00am. Watch online here Mike Pompeo is a Congressman of Kansas’ 4th district since 2011. He graduated first in his class from West Point in 1986 and then served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. After leaving active duty, he graduated from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Pompeo serves on two major committees: Energy and...

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AAI's Questions for Sen. Jeff Sessions at Senate Confirmation Hearing

Posted by Arab American Institute on January 09, 2017 in Blog

 Senator Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, January 10th at 9:30am. Watch online here Jeff Sessions is currently a Republican Senator from Alabama and member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary which provides oversight to several federal agencies including the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Committee also plays a significant role in federal judicial nominations and legislation related to civil liberties, immigration and naturalization, and criminal law. He served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama from...

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President Obama Dismantles NSEERS Ahead of New Administration

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on December 22, 2016 in Blog

The Department of Homeland Security announced today its rescission of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program. DHS called for “the removal of regulations relating to special registration process for certain nonimmigrants.” With only a few weeks left in office, the dismantling of NSEERS by President Obama is powerful as it upends the incoming administration’s plans to revive the program.  The Arab American Institute, along with over 200 coalition members have worked tirelessly towards dismantling NSEERS because of its discriminatory nature. In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, NSEERS came into effect...

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Children, Students Bearing Brunt of Hate Trend

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on December 19, 2016 in Blog

“One Muslim girl clung to her kindergarten teacher on November 9 and asked, ‘Are they going to do anything to me? Am I safe?’”   “The day after the election, white students in my school walked down the halls harassing their students of color. One student went around asking, ‘Are you legal?’ to each student he passed. Another student told his black classmate to ‘Go back to Haiti because this is our country now.’”  “I have had one male student grab a female student’s crotch...

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AAI’s National Policy Council Briefed on NSEERS & Immigration Policies Under a President Trump

Posted by Arab American Institute on December 15, 2016 in Blog

AAI’s National Policy Council was recently joined by Greg Chen, Director of Advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), to strategize around President-elect Trump’s immigration proposals that many Arab Americans are concerned about. From reinstating NSEERS to deporting undocumented immigrants and talk of a “Muslim ban”, Arab Americans share concerns and fears with many other immigrant communities. Amidst uncertainty about how the proposals Donald Trump made as a candidate will be manifested once he takes office, there is important work to be done...

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Tech Entrepreneurs Affirm Commitment to Civil Liberties & Community Partnership Ahead of Trump Meeting

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on December 14, 2016 in Blog

The Trump transition team held a much anticipated discussion on Wednesday with technology leaders regarding a litany of issues at the intersection of technology, national security, and the economy. Ahead of the meeting, 50 tech entrepreneurs signed an open letter stating their commitment to civil liberties and a "categorical refusal" to build tools that could threaten them. The letter is a not so subtle condemnation of some of Trump’s national security plans that were laid out on the campaign trail – including reinstating NSEERS...

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Combating the Trend of Hate: AAI Brings Together Rights Groups For Hill Briefing

Posted by Guest on December 12, 2016 in Blog

By Mahamad Omar On Thursday, December 8th, the Arab American Institute held a briefing to discuss the recent post-election uptick in hate incidents, the historic problem of underreporting, and potential reporting and policy solutions. The panel, which attracted a standing room only crowd, included Arjun Singh Sethi, Director of Law and Policy at the Sikh Coalition, Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Project Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Madihha Ahussain, Staff Attorney for Muslim Advocates, and Nadia Aziz, Government Relations Director of the Arab American Institute. These...

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