Muslim Ban Blocked as Demonstrators Take to the Streets in LA


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The Arab American Civic Council welcomes the decision by two federal court judges who blocked President Trump’s third and latest version of the Muslim Ban. U.S. District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii,  first issued the block on Tuesday, October 17th, only hours before the ban was set to take effect. The federal court in Maryland followed on Wednesday, October 18th, with another block, calling it an “extricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban” – Maryland District Judge Theodore D. Chuang.

Since the first Arab and Muslim Ban, the AACC has been organizing our community to take action against this discriminatory executive order. On Sunday, October 15, the AACC along many coalition partners, co-sponsored the #NoMuslimBanEver march and rally in Los Angeles.

The March started at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo where hundreds of protesters from diverse ethnic backgrounds and faith traditions came together and stood in solidarity with impacted communities everywhere. The people then took to the streets to express their opposition to President Trump’s third and latest version of the Muslim ban. Several protesters shared their personal stories and described how this ban directly affects them and their families, while allies from different groups expressed their solidarity with the community and addressed their own experiences with past discriminatory and unconstitutional policies. Chief operating officer of the Japanese American National Museum, Rick Noguchi, emphasized the parallel struggles experienced by Japanese Americans in the past and Muslim Americans today. While Kanji Sahara, a Japanese American Internment Camp survivor, left the crowd with a strong and loud “Never again!”

The protesters marched and rallied in front of the Roybal Court Center, a plaza that houses the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, and the Metropolitan Detention Center. Mirvette Judeh, Vice Chair of AACC, led the chants, and speakers from various backgrounds addressed the government’s use of criminal justice and immigration policies to oppress minority communities.

The final stop took place in front of the Federal Courthouse, where participants listened to personal narratives from individuals impacted by the ban. Areej Ali, Sudanese-born green card holder who was visiting her family in Sudan for the first time in 20 years, was prohibited from boarding a flight back to the U.S. and eventually detained at LAX, due to the ban. According to Ali, she was treated like a criminal despite her being a Legal Permanent Resident. The rally concluded with AACC board member Iyad Afalqa who reflected on the inhumanity of the current ban and emphasized the importance of challenging the status quo by “being the voice for the voiceless”.

The March and rally was made possible by your support and the hard work of the staff and volunteers of dozens of local organizations led by CAIR-LA and included Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, California for Progress, Unite Here Local 11, Jewish Voice for Peace, March and Rally Los Angeles, CHIRLA, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, ACLU-SoCal and many others.

Please make a donation today, to continue to empower our advocacy efforts on behalf of the local Arab American community.