Posted on January 27, 2020 in Press Releases


CONTACT: Ryan J. Suto | | (202) 429-9210

January 27, 2020

Washington, D.C.—Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry issued the following statement: 

"Today is the third anniversary of President Trump’s Muslim and Refugee Ban, a hateful policy first enacted amid chaos and confusion which has impacted the lives of hundreds of people, both within the United States and across the world. 

Since it was first enacted, the Muslim and Refugee Ban has gone through various iterations in an attempt to launder the anti-Muslim intent evidenced by Trump’s campaign promises and continuous bigoted rhetoric toward American Muslims. 

The Ban is indicative of the administration’s broader approach to immigration. This week is also the first anniversary of the Administration’s Remain in Mexico policy, known as MPP. The policy illegally blocks families and individuals at the southern border from safely seeking asylum in the United States. Human Rights First has documented over 800 attacks on asylum seekers while they wait in Mexico for months at a time. These attacks include murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping. 

Through policies such as MPP and the Muslim Ban, a fundamental motivation of this administration's immigration policy becomes clear: white nationalism papered over by claims of “national security” intended to halt the entry of people who do not look as the president does, pray as the president does, or speak as the president does. 

Perhaps worse, however, is the failure of the Supreme Court to pierce the veil of the administration's deceitful claims. While last year's end-of-year funding vehicles failed to defund and end MPP, legislation to end the Muslim and Refugee Ban, the NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214/S. 1123), stands at 214 co-sponsors in the House, only four Representatives shy of passing the chamber and moving to the Senate. The Arab American Institute supports Speaker Pelosi's commitment to bring this important piece of legislation to a vote soon, and we will continue to work until the NO BAN Act becomes law. 

If we are to become larger than our present politics and better than our past practices, our institutions and elected officials must recognize and effectively counter bigotry in order to protect the rights of minorities and vulnerable populations."