About

Tuesday we voted, but today we continue our fight..

Arab American candidates gain significant victories.. 

Americans just turned out in historic numbers to participate in the mid-term election.  The Arab American Civic Council would like to congratulate the Arab American candidates who won in Tuesday’s Congressional and local elections. In Michigan, Rashida Tlaib made history becoming the first Palestinian American woman to be elected to Congress. Ilhan Omar, who came to the U.S. as a refugee, is the first Somali-American Congresswoman. Other Arab American winners include Florida’s Donna Shalala and Michigan’s Justin Amash who was re-elected, as reported by the AAI here.  Locally, Syrian-American film producer Ahmad Zahra has won a seat on the Fullerton City Council to represent Fullerton’s 5th district. He’s one of dozens of Arab Americans who ran for local office this year.

Here’s what we’ve been up to.. 

unnamed-3.jpg

Over the past two months, our team here at the Arab American Civic Council has been hard at work to get out the Arab vote for this historic Midterm Elections. We were able to contact more than 3,300 Arab American households in the Orange County area through nonpartisan phone banking and canvassing. We also registered close to 300 voters.

Our fight, however, is not over yet. Last Tuesday we voted, but today we continue our fight for a fair immigrationsystem, repealing the travel ban (sign this petition), protecting our free speech rights, and many other issues that directly impact our community.

Together, and with your support, we will tackle all these issues.

Watch Aljazeera‘s coverage of our voter outreach campaign..

Arab Americans gear up to vote in Orange County

The Arab American Civic Council  recently launched its voter outreach campaign to mobilize Arab Americans to participate in the upcoming elections to help restore justice, fairness and equality in our country. Focusing on Orange County, the Arab American Civic Council reached out to more than 5000 Arab American voters over the past couple of months at community events and through phone banking and canvassing.

Register to vote here

DF0BE1C6-F7CE-4BF5-A425-87F88DBA993B.jpg

With support from the National Network for Arab American Communities, AACC’s team is empowering and activating thousands of local Arab Americans prior to the November 6 midterm elections. AACC’s staff and volunteers are on the ground registering new voters at community events and gatherings and educating them about the upcoming elections.

Orange County has emerged as a political battleground ahead of the November midterm elections as Democrats and Republicans compete over Congressional Districts 39, 45, 48, and 49.  Arab Americans are determined to come out to vote in massive numbers and make sure the issues that impact them such as immigration, travel ban, and racial profiling, are addressed.

IMG_8967.jpgLocally, the Mayoral race in Anaheim, which is home to a large concentration of Arab Americans and immigrant communities, is one of the most important races.  

AACC partnered with a wide range of local organizations to host the Anaheim Mayoral Candidate Forum to be held on Thursday, October 18 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Anaheim. 

For election FAQ’s click here.

Sign this petition: Demand Congress act to repeal the Muslim ban!

In a decision that will forever stain our history and the legacy of the U.S. Supreme Court—alongside cases like Dred Scott, which upheld slavery, and Korematsu, which permitted the incarceration of Japanese-Americans—our nation’s highest court ruled in favor of Trump’s Muslim Ban. In doing so, it gave the green light to an administration that has made xenophobia, racism, and anti-Muslim bigotry its official policy.

From the Muslim Ban to policies like locking immigrant children and their parents in cages, Trump’s agenda is rooted in White Supremacy. He consistently endorses dangerous policies to harm, dehumanize, and exclude people of color.

Every day that Congress fails to take action, the Ban continues to block people from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Those impacted are separated from their loved ones, denied educational and professional opportunities, life saving medical treatment, and family milestones. This policy is based on nothing other than Trump’s bigoted campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Trump and the Supreme Court may allow policies that discriminate against people based on how they worship or where they come from, but Congress still has the power to #RepealTheBan, and should do so immediately. We urge you to support H.R. 4271 and S. 1979 and stand up against Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Click here to sign a petition telling Members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate: Demand Congress act to repeal the Muslim ban!

AACC Urges End to Immigrant Detention on World Refugee Day

Vigil 1

On Wednesday, June 20th, the Arab American Civic Council stood in solidarity with the families at the border to mourn family separation and demand an end to their inhumane detention. We joined community leaders from different organizations including Activate Labs, World Relief-Southern California, and CAIR-LA at the Theo Lacy Detention Center in Orange to center the voices of refugees and immigrants and unite in these difficult times.

It has been over a month since the implementation of the “zero tolerance” policy instituted by the Trump administration. The policy prosecuted all immigrants entering the country through the U.S – Mexico border, and as a result, separated children from their parents. Over 2,000 children have been taken away from their families and are being held in “tender age facilities”.

Community leaders and advocates are organizing to end the detention and welcome the refugee families who came escaped persecution and oppression in their home countries.

On Wednesday morning, President Trump signed an executive order to end the family separation. However, families continue to be detained, and many children may not be reunited with their parents. The harm that has been caused is irreparable, and more needs to be done.

Monica Curca, who comes from a family of Romanian refugees, and is the Executive Director of Activate Labs, led the crowd and highlighted the fact that “instead of being housed and treated like refugees, [families] are actually re-traumatized re-persecuted here in this country”.

Jessica Bravo, another community leader, was “speaking up for kids who can’t speak up for themselves”. She came to the U.S. when she was only 3 years old and is temporarily protected under DACA. As the Muslim Latino Coordinator at OCCORD, she rallied the crowd to take action and utilize the power of consumerism by boycotting companies that accommodate the detention of immigrants. “It makes me think I could have been one of those children and it agitates me enough to make a call for action”.

“It’s a scary process to leave your place to come to somewhere you don’t know and try to make it happen and live the American Dream”. – Maria Jimenez, Orange County resident and daughter of undocumented immigrant parents.

AACC Program Coordinator, Johanna Mustafa, reminded the crowd that “this is continuation of a long history of criminalizing, persecuting, and dehumanizing people of color. Family separation is not a foreign concept in this country, and it is time we put an end to it”.

Saturday, June 30th is a national day of action calling for end of family separation. Find an event near you here.

 

 

TPS for Yemenis in the US must be extended and re-designated

tpssign-800-1The Arab American Civic Council joined more than a dozen prominent national advocacy, civil rights, and faith based organizations to endorse a Congressional ‘Dear Colleague’ letter authored by Rep. Debbie Dingell, which calls the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to extend and re-designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemenis in the United States.

The administration must renew the designation by July 5, 2018, or risk the lives of nearly 1,200 Yemeni men, women, and children who have came to the US for refuge.

The outbreak of war and dire situation in Yemen was the initial reason for the TPS designation in 2015, and the re-designation in 2017. However, the violence continues to heighten and over 22 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 3 million people are displaced, 200,000 of them seeking refuge abroad.

The letter states, in part:

“The case for extending TPS for the 18-month maximum allowed by the law, and re-designating TPS for eligible Yemenis, is statutorily clear.  The armed conflict renders the safe return of roughly 1,200 Yemeni TPS holders in the United States unfeasible and inhumane. The humanitarian crisis represents a “substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions” for Yemenis, and the civil war and loss of territory and vital infrastructure renders the Yemeni government “unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return” of Yemenis (8 U.S.C. §1254a).

“Extending and re-designating TPS for Yemen is also clearly in the interest of America’s national security.  Since March 2015, the United States has been involved in a regional military campaign in support of the internationally recognized government and seeks, for the stability of Yemen and its neighbors, a negotiated settlement to the conflict and an amelioration of its resulting humanitarian crisis.  The sudden return of 1,200 Yemenis will not only further undermine the international humanitarian response in Yemen, but also undermine America’s standing amongst our allies and give antagonistic states and non-state actors in the region a needless propaganda boon.

“Current TPS recipients from Yemen residing in the United States have contributed greatly to the social and economic welfare of our communities.  Failing to extend TPS for Yemenis who have it and re-designate it for eligible individuals will many families in jeopardy and do much to undermine the security of the American homeland.”

The Arab American Civic Council urges the Orange County Congressional delegation to add their names to Rep. Dingell’s letter, in order to ensure the safety of Yemeni families in the United States.