Syrian Refugees: We’re Not Buying the Security Threat

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on February 13, 2015 in Blog

Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, AAI has advocated for increased resettlement of refugees in the United States. Last January, we were pleased to be a part of Senator Durbin’s landmark hearing on the subject that has since led to meaningful action both in Congress and in the Obama administration. Through a State Department led effort, the U.S. will accept up to 2,000 screened refugees for resettlement in 2015 – which is a huge jump from the 284 refugees resettled between 2011 and 2014. Keep in mind that 3.5 million is a modest estimate of the number of...

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Immigration Reform is Not Just for Latinos: Big Impact for Immigrants from MENA

Posted by on November 26, 2014 in Blog

Since announcing his executive order on immigration, President Obama has held two events to to clarify the extent and scope of his most recent executive order. The events, one in Las Vegas and the other in the President’s hometown of Chicago, were a chance for the President to engage directly with multi-ethnic communities on the prospective reforms. Although referring to his action as just “one small step on immigration,” his statements acknowledging the diversity of immigrant populations indicate that his executive action last week will have a huge impact on both documented and undocumented populations arriving...

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Cooperation, Nominations and New Friends

Posted on November 14, 2014 in Countdown
Excuse our absence last week, post-election fatigue got to us. As you have probably heard, the Arab American community experienced its share of triumphs and disappointments.
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Defrosting the Ice: Rolling Back the Secure Communities Program through TRUST

Posted by on October 09, 2014 in Blog

By Eddie Bejarano Fall Intern, 2014

On October 5, 2013 California Governor Jerry Brown signed eight immigrations laws into effect as thousands of Americans across the country demonstrated in support of pushing national immigration reform. One of the eight pieces of legislation signed into law was the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools (TRUST) Act.

The TRUST Act will ensure that undocumented immigrants would have to be charged with or guilty of a serious offense to be eligible for a 48 hour hold and potential deportation. Reshma Shamasunder, the Executive Director for the...

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On Record: Virginia Candidates Share Perspectives on Immigration

Posted by on October 02, 2014 in Blog

By Eddie Bejarano Fall Intern, 2014

“Since I came here in the 1960s, Roanoke has gone from being a sleepy, segregated town to being a city of extraordinary diversity. Today we proudly celebrate having more than 104 different nationalities,” reflected David Bowers, the Mayor of Roanoke, in a Washington Post article in March.

The change that Mayor Bowers witnessed in Roanoke is a process that is transpiring all across the United States. In regard to the Arab American community, the number of Virginians who claim an Arab ancestry more than doubled since...

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Boos Cruz and the Latest News

Posted on September 12, 2014 in Countdown
We hate to say we told you so, but we told you so. In advance of this week’s seminal “In Defense of Christians” summit, AAI’s Jim Zogby – who serves on the IDC advisory board – warned in his column that we should be concerned with “those [attending] who either want to defend only some Christians... or those whose advocacy is limited exclusively to Christians.” You can see then why we weren’t too surprised when Texas Senator Ted Cruz got booed off stage after unnecessarily inserting Israel into his keynote speech.
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Get Back To Work

Posted on July 17, 2014 in Countdown
This year, the annual White House Iftar was once again not without controversy. Normally a time to celebrate faith and community (as AAI did in our offices the following evening), this year’s White House Iftar was plagued by politics.
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It Just IS

Posted on July 02, 2014 in Countdown
Throughout the past few weeks, Israel has accused Hamas of the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and has retaliated by conducting the largest military operation in the West Bank since the second intifada. On Monday, the bodies of the three abducted Israeli teenagers were found in a field in Hebron. “Off the deep end” and “unprecedented,” Israel’s retaliation, which includes over 34 airstrikes in Gaza, has left 13 Palestinians dead and counting, more than 400 Palestinians imprisoned, and numerous buildings and homes destroyed.
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Bring It Back

Posted on June 19, 2014 in Countdown
In light of his recent passing, AAI would like to pay tribute and recognize just how unsurpassed and dear Casey Kasem was in the hearts of the Arab American community. Featured in our Together We Came series, Kasem’s nationwide contributions are unparalleled; he truly exemplifies what it means to be an exceptional American.
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White House Recognizes DACA Recipient Kamal Essaheb as “Champion of Change”

Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Blog
By Emily Cooke Summer Intern, 2014 On Monday, the White House honored a group of outstanding immigrants who had been granted legal residency under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Kamal Essaheb, a Moroccan immigrant and leading immigration reform advocate, was among those honored.
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