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!

In Washington, Arab Americans met for Congressional briefing and rallied against the Muslim Ban

img_4579.jpgOn April 24 the Arab American Civic Council Executive Director Rashad Al-Dabbagh and Transformative Leaders Fellow Johanna Mustafa traveled to Washington, DC for the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) Arab American Leadership Days, organized in part with the Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Network for Arab American Professionals.  

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Rashad Al-Dabbagh providing an update on the Calfiornia Arab American community

Our cohort had the opportunity to rally against the Muslim Ban outside of the Supreme Court Offices in the wake of oral arguments on the Ban. After federal judges ruled against the Muslim Ban, many thought that the Supreme Court will strike it down. However, after last week’s oral arguments, it has become clearer the the Supreme Court is leaning towards upholding the Ban.

Following the rally against the Muslim Ban, we gathered to hear the latest policy discussions on key issues such as refugees, healthcare, census, and immigration; and heard community updates from each region. Experts from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the ACLU, Jewish Voice for Peace, Representative Betty McCollum’s office, and USAID, joined us to discuss the importance of fighting discrimination and surveillance under the current administration, and the importance of organizing the Arab American vote.

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Rep. Keith Ellison

On Friday, April 27, Arab Americans from across the country converged for a Congressional breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill and heard directly from Representatives Keith Ellison (MN), Betty McCollum (MN), Hank Johnson (GA), and Brenda Lawrence (MI).

Rep. McCollum commented on the progress of her ”Promoting Human Rights By Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act,” which seeks to protect Palestinian children from abuse in Israeli military detention. Ellison emphasized the importance of advocacy, and encouraged Arab Americans to do more to tell their stories.

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Rep. Lou Correa’s office

After the briefing delegations from each state met with their Representatives in Congress to advocate on issues they care about.  

Arab American Civic Council members and other California-based leaders then met with Rep. Lou Correa, Rep. Norma Torres’ office, and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office. The issues that were discussed during those meetings included extending Temporary Protected Status for Syrians and Yemenis and nationals of other countries, refugee resettlement, concerns regarding surveillance of Arab, Muslim, and vulnerable communities, and anti-boycott bills the predominantly targets US Palestine solidarity activists.

 

Elected Officials and Refugee families share a meal while discussing immigration issues at forum held in Little Arabia

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The Arab American Civic Council co-hosted the ‘Refugees Welcome Reception and Community Forum’ in partnership with Activate Labs this past Saturday, December 16th, to uplift the voices of refugee families and discuss current issues pertaining to immigration policies. With the participation of elected officials, refugee families, and community members, we engaged in a productive discourse on the Travel Ban, Islamophobia, hate speech, restorative justice and mental health programs in schools, housing costs, job growth, and more.

Our guest speakers included Senate President Kevin de Leon, Senator Josh Newman, Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem James Vanderbilt, Anaheim Councilman Dr. Jose F. Moreno, Anaheim Union High School District Trustee Al Jabbar, and Garden Grove Unified School Board Trustee Walter Muneton.

The program began with our refugee friends sharing their stories and experiences with resettlement and integration in the U.S., and proceeded with statements by elected officials in response to such experiences. Senators Newman and de Leon opened the floor by discussing the islamophobia and the Travel Ban. “In California, we celebrate who we are… We celebrate our diversity. We don’t ban it. We don’t deport it, and we don’t wall-it-off,” emphasized Sen. de Leon.

Mayor Pro Tem James Vanderbilt and Councilman Dr. Jose Moreno from the city of Anaheim followed by addressing local issues, and highlighting the importance of economic growth. Councilman Moreno reassured the constituents, stating that the City Council works with “nonprofits whose mission is to effectively integrate new immigrants into the fabric of their city.” He continued by explaining that the best thing for economic growth and development is the investment in immigrant entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, our community’s advancement is not complete without adequate education. School District Trustees, Al Jabbar and Walter Muneton discussed the importance of education to new immigrants, and introduced a few school programs in Anaheim and Garden Grove providing social services, and focusing on mental health and disciplinary issues. The Anaheim and Garden Grove School Districts are constantly developing their school programs and working closely with educators, principals, and administrators to ensure students receive adequate care. “It is crucial for parents not to be shy or scared. Go to the schools, ask questions, speak to the administrators, and demand justice,” said Trustee Muneton.

In the current political climate, advocacy for new immigrants and refugees is an absolute necessity. This event was organized to not only help positively change the narrative around immigrants, but also pave the way for policy change in the upcoming year.

Many thanks to our Refugees Welcome project funder the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and additional funding from The Proteus Fund’s Security and Rights Collaborative. Thanks to Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva for donating gift cards to our refugee families.

Invitation: #NoMuslimBanEver March & Rally in Los Angeles

Please join us for a march and rally in Downtown Los Angeles on October 15 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.to uplift the voices of those most impacted by the anti-Arab and Islamophobic rhetoric and policies of the Trump AdministrationThe march/rally will take place at the Japanese American National Museum: 100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles CA 90012.

This march and rally is in response to President Trump’s new Muslim Ban, which was issued on September 24th. This third version of the Muslim Ban is as discriminatory and unconstitutional as the previous versions. It is critical that before the new ban goes into effect on October 18th, there be strong, loud, mass mobilizations that send a message to the world: Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern communities are organized, and their allies are there to support in sacred solidarity. 

Join the Arab American Civic Council as we partner with other organizations and advocacy groups to stand against racist laws which ban Arabs, Muslims and refugees from our country.

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