A recording of the call is here.
Earlier today, advocates, policy experts and individuals whose lives are impacted by the President’s actions gathered on a press call to provide their first-hand perspective on Trump’s extended Muslim Ban.
On January 31st, the Trump administration announced their decision to extend the already-devastating Muslim Ban to Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. In addition to ongoing litigation against the Muslim Ban, this Wednesday, February 12, the House Judiciary Committee plans to mark-up the No Ban Act (HR 2214), introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and co-sponsored by 214 House Democrats, which would repeal these discriminatory policies and prevent any bans like them in the future.
Dhaha Nur, originally from Somalia and working with PANA said, “My mother and I were not separated by choice. We fled Somalia when I was 5, running for our lives in the midst of a civil war. I came to the U.S. without my mother. I was young, but old enough to feel the impact of her absence. And 22 years later, it’s not a war or even an ocean that forces our separation. It’s our nation’s president, whose Muslim Ban –– introduced three years ago this week –– gave the green light to tear families like mine apart.”
Eric Naing, a Burmese American working with Muslim Advocates said, “President Trump banned Muslims, separates families at the southern border, fills his White House with open white nationalists like Steven Miller and complained that we get too many immigrants from black and African countries and not enough from Norway. His expanded Muslim Ban is not about national security, it is about controlling who gets to be an American.”
Ola Osaze, originally from Nigeria and working with Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP), said “BLMP envisions a world where no one has to give up their homeland. We are already seeing the impact of the ban, and communities are now facing the prospect of not having access to family and loved ones. When I first came to the U.S., I remember a sign at a North Carolina airport that said, beware of Nigerian drug smugglers. This ban further portrays the exact same kind of hate. There are members of BLMP – members who are unable to bring their partners and families here. The reality is that we are seeing unprecedented attacks on Black migrants in this country. A couple of weeks ago, Trump’s public charge was greenlighted. Now, we are facing an expansion of a travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court. This is nothing more than an attempt to criminalize Black communities and countries.”
Nimra Azmi, Staff Attorney at Muslim Advocates commented, “Because of the expanded Muslim Ban, the total number of Muslims banned from the U.S. has increased from roughly 140 million to more than 320 million. And there are more than a million Americans who were born in these banned countries and still have family there. There is no reason, apart from discrimination, to tear these families apart. It is imperative that we do everything in our power—from filing lawsuits to pressuring Congress—to end this racist and anti-Muslim ban.”
“This President continues to deliver on his bigoted 2015 campaign promise to ban Muslims from coming to the United States,” said Zahra Billoo, Executive Director at CAIR SFBA. “This most recent expanded ban, following his targeting of several Muslim majority countries and refugees, turns its focus to a number of African countries and others. His attacks on religious liberty have given way to outright white nationalism. We have seen, in the most heartbreaking stories, that cancer, life support, and even death are barely means for overcoming the Ban and reuniting families. Though the Supreme Court has permitted the Ban to move forward thus far, Congress must pass the No Ban Act to end this policy once and for all.”
Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director at CAIR, MN said, “Since this ban has been implemented, and with the expansion the story regretfully is the same. I have traveled across Minnesota and met with communities to provide support and education about what the impact of this program means to them. This impacts me personally and my community in different ways. I’ve talked to people who are US citizens, but who ask if they should carry their passport. This program has terrorized and created trauma in our communities. While we address policies for their nature of racism and xenophobia, the impact it has is in the communities here, in many ways.”