Posted on June 01, 2015 in Action Alerts
This week the Senate will consider “reform” bills that claim to limit the NSA’s authority to conduct indiscriminate surveillance. But the proposed version of the USA Freedom Act does not end the bulk collection of U.S. citizens' data, nor does it offer protections to citizens from warrantless surveillance. The Senate should not pass such weak reforms, which instead of rolling back surveillance authority, validates its continuation. If it were to come up as an emergency measure, the Senate should under no circumstances vote for a short-term reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act. Even a 60...Read more
Posted on May 28, 2015
Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Blog
By Eve Soliman Winter Intern, 2015
Obama’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIL is long overdue. Since U.S. military action against ISIL began on Aug. 8, 2014 we have launched 1,900 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. Unsettlingly, our military campaign still lacks Congressional backing.
Sent to Congress last week, President Obama’s AUMF request is the first proposal asking Congress to authorize military force in almost thirteen years. The three key points from the AUMF proposal against ISIL are: 1) it limits the campaign to a...Read more
Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Blog
AAI joined a coalition of 150 civil rights organizations in a letter sent this morning to Attorney General Eric Holder imploring him to direct the FBI to open a federal hate crime investigation into the tragic slaying of three Arab American Muslims, Deah Shaddy Barakat (23 years old), Yusor Mohammad Abu Salha (21 years old), and Razan Mohammad Abu Salha (19 years old), who were brutally murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on February 10th.
With hate crimes targeting Arab Americans and American Muslims on the rise, we expect our country’s highest elected officials and the Department of Justice to...Read more
Posted on December 18, 2014 in Action Alerts
Last month, the US Census Bureau announced that it will be testing the MENA category for inclusion in the 2020 Census. This is a vitally important measure to correct the problematic under count of our community. Now that the Census Bureau has officially announced it's plans to test the category over the course of 2015, the Bureau is soliciting public opinions on the MENA category's inclusion.
Please join our campaign to support the MENA category's inclusion on the 2020 Census by contacting the Federal Registrar now.
To read more about our efforts to include the MENA category on the 2020...Read more
Posted by on December 08, 2014 in Blog
Today, Attorney General Eric Holder and the White House unveiled much anticipated revisions to 2003 Department of Justice Guidance on the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies (“Guidance”). The DOJ has finally expanded the definition of profiling to prohibit to the use of gender, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to race and ethnicity. While this is a small sign of progress, the Guidance fails to address homeland security and border integrity loopholes as well FBI mapping practices that have created space for routine and egregious constitutional and civil liberties violations.
Holder’s new guidelines...Read more
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...Read more
Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Blog
Last week, together with the Coalition of Palestinian American Organizations and several other community organizations, AAI convened an emergency summit that brought together 60 leaders from 13 states.
The summit was a direct response to the ongoing humanitarian and political crises across the Middle East. As these crises continue to deepen, AAI acted swiftly to open an direct line of engagement with the policymakers to challenge the prevailing policy and narratives about the Middle East that reflect willful ignorance and an unwillingness to act--even when it is counter to our own national security interest. AAI's reasons for quickly convening this...Read more
Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Blog
In all likelihood, comprehensive immigration reform doesn’t stand a chance of passing through House this summer. Despite the growing, bi-partisan consensus that Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s shocking primary upset had little to do with his support of limited immigration reform, Republicans and Democrats alike are shying away from addressing even the smallest reforms that can help alleviate suffering felt by many immigrant groups.
On Wednesday, AAI hosted a Congressional briefing with panelists from a broad spectrum of ethnic groups which are directly impacted by the US’s failing immigration system. Experts included: AAI President Jim Zogby,...Read more
Posted by on June 02, 2014 in Blog
Today marks the beginning of the first ever Immigrant Heritage Month, a nationwide effort to share people’s stories of immigration in America. Our community, like many others, is proud of our ethnic heritage and together we can highlight narratives of Arab Americans who have contributed so much to so many aspects of America.
Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM), an initiative spearheaded by Welcome.us, is an important platform to join many other immigrant communities to underscore how our country’s heritage is built on the diversity and contributions of immigrants. Our combined, coordinated voices can be a...Read more