Upholding our Values

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on November 20, 2015 in Blog

In the wake of last week’s terror attacks in Paris, refugees have received increased backlash across Europe and the United States. More than two dozen Republican governors and one Democratic governor, including presidential candidates, have announced that they will not be resettling Syrian refugees in their states. Their announcements have limited direct impact, however, since there is no lawful means to refuse legally accepted foreign refugees. It’s ridiculous and baffling that refugees are being blamed for attacks carried out by the same people they were were escaping from in the first...

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An American Pope with a Challenge for America

Posted on September 28, 2015 in Washington Watch
While the policy challenges posed by Pope Francis were significant, what I found most striking was the way he was able to firmly ground his message within an American narrative.
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Countdown Vol. 13 No. 27: Backsliding

Posted on August 27, 2015 in Countdown
This week on Countdown: Huckabee in Israel, protests in Lebanon, the 14th amendment, and more
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A Different Name (but still the same): The Priority Enforcement Program

Posted by Nicole Khamis on July 08, 2015 in Blog
But Secure Communities is not totally gone. A new program was put in place, different in name but not in its form, called the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). PEP differs from Secure Communities by narrowing the category of people ICE is able to request be detained for deportation. Under PEP, ICE agents may only request detention if the suspect has either been convicted of a serious criminal offense, or if there is sufficient evidence to suggest the person is a threat to public safety or national security. However, what is most alarming in the implementation of PEP is the amount of subjectivity it continues to allow ICE officers, which not only permits but encourages the continuation of biased policing.
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Share Your Immigration Story

Posted on June 05, 2015 in Action Alerts

Please join the Arab American Institute in celebrating immigrant heritage by sharing your own "Welcome" story-- it could be about when you arrived in the United States, when your parents made the journey, or the story of a distant relative a few generations ago. We need to hear it.

As Arab Americans, we have always shared these stories with great pride. Now, we need to make them part of this wonderful national conversation in support of comprehensive immigration reform.

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Immigrant Heritage Month Reenergizes the Push for Immigration Reform

Posted by Nicole Khamis on June 03, 2015 in Blog
This week kicked off the Immigrant Heritage Month on Capitol Hill, an annual celebration started in 2014 by Welcome.us. Dedicated to celebrating the United States as a country built by immigrants from around the world, Immigrant Heritage Month encourages Americans to tell the story of how they were first welcomed to the United States, and recognizes community leaders who are making America more welcoming to its new neighbors.
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Keep Your Friends Far and Your Enemies Farther

Posted on March 04, 2015 in Countdown

Countdown Vol. 13, No. 5

Bigotry at its Best

We all knew that when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approached the podium at the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference, he was bound to deliver controversial comments with the typical helping of condescension and props. The Prime Minister deployed a truly staggering litany of outmoded orientalist language at Monday's Conference.  Bibi stated that the region finds itself consumed by “medieval barbarism” and described a "dark and savage, and desperate Middle East" where women experience “repression, enslavement and...

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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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