The Muslim and Refugee Ban Goes Into Effect — Who Will Join these 15 Members of Congress Speaking Out?
By Rebecca Ma, Associate Campaigner, Amnesty International USA
And so, the Muslim and refugee ban continues. This past Monday, the Supreme Court announced it will hear the administration’s appeal in October and, in the meantime, allow the discriminatory policy to take effect in part starting last night.
The Supreme Court ruled that the ban can only be applied to people lacking “a bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the US. While this appears to be a caveat of sorts, this decision really opens Pandora’s box.
Late Wednesday night we learned that, when it comes to family relationships, the Trump administration will narrowly define these relationships as between spouses, parents, children, siblings. This shuts the door on fiancés, grandparents, grandchildren, long-term partners (including in countries where same-sex marriage is banned), aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and the list goes on.
And we learned yesterday the Trump administration may not recognize refugee resettlement agencies as having “bona fide relationship” for purposes of its refugee ban implementation. That means tens of thousands of refugees from countries all over the world who were in the process of being resettled in the United States may not be able to come this fiscal year.
This Court’s decision has only added more confusion, fear and anxiety for millions of people, and could open the door to more discriminatory policies. It’s now more important than ever that Congress step up. It’s imperative members of Congress publicly denounce the ban and signal to the Trump administration and the Supreme Court that this ban is unacceptable.
While more than 250 members of Congress publicly opposed the ban when it first rolled out in January, only a few dozen have remained at the forefront of this battle. Here are some of these champions who spoke out against the recent Supreme Court decision:
· House Judiciary Democrats — Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI-13)
· Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD): I am very disappointed and disheartened about the ban moving forward as it relates to refugees. There will be people hurt because of the refugee ban. The refugees seeking to come to America from these countries have not caused problems for American national security… They in fact are often the victims of terrorists in their own countries… The United States should continue to be a leader in resettling refugees, not turn our back on the most vulnerable in the world. Such a ban runs contrary to everything we stand for as Americans.
· Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
· Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)
· Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY-16)
· Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
· Senator Al Franken (D-MN)
· Senator Dick Durbin (D-MD): It will not help keep the American people safe, and it is inconsistent with America’s tradition as a refuge for innocents fleeing war and terrorism. Remember the purported reason for President Trump’s original travel ban? He needed a 90-day pause to formulate an extreme vetting model for travelers from these seven, now six, Muslim-majority nations. It has now been 150 days, and the President is spending more time fighting American judges than any suspected terrorists. The Supreme Court will revisit this awful policy again in October. Any chance President Trump will have his vetting reform ready by then?
· Representative Ruben Kihuen (D-NV-4)
· Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
· Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
· Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA): To me, it is clear from the words that have come out of his own mouth that President Trump’s intentions with this travel ban have been more about politics and stoking fear than national security. The United States should not forbid immigration or travel based on country of origin — in this case from predominantly Muslim countries.
· Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
· Representative Andre Carson (D-IN-7)
We’re looking for more members of Congress who will stand up to President Trump and stop the Muslim and refugee ban; and stand in solidarity with refugees. Call 1–855–923–6687 or take action online.