Muslim civil rights groups slam Trump's new travel ban

Muslim civil rights groups slam Trump's new travel ban

NEW YORK, (APP): Several US civil rights groups have issued scathing condemnations after President Donald Trump issued a proclamation banning or partially banning refugees and migrants from eight countries.


Under the terms of Trump's new proclamation, travel from some countries is outright suspended and travel from others may only take place on a limited basis under heavy scrutiny. Entry by most foreign nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia will be suspended as of Oct. 18. Venezuelan government officials and their family members will also be denied entry. Iraqi nationals will be subjected to intensive screening.


The new proclamation removes Sudan but adds Venezuela and North Korea, which have been engaged in bitter rows with the Trump administration recently.


"The fact that Trump has added North Korea -- with few visitors to the US -- and a few government officials from Venezuela doesn't obfuscate the real fact that the administration's order is still a Muslim ban ," the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Anthony Romero, said. "President Trump's original sin of targeting Muslims cannot be cured by throwing other countries onto his enemies list."


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America's largest Muslim civil rights group, vowed to continue to challenge Trump's immigration policies in court.


"We cannot forget the families hurt most by this hateful and discriminatory Muslim ban , and we will continue to fight every day for their civil rights," CAIR spokeswoman Zahra Billoo said in a statement sent to TheDC.


"We will not be deterred in continuing to challenge the President's multi-pronged assault of hate directed toward communities of color."


Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour described Trump's new travel ban as "immoral and unconstitutional" in a statement sent to The Daily Caller.


"Impacted and allied communities from around the country will continue to fight this discriminatory policy and the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign will continue," Sarsour said. "We will continue to resist this immoral and unconstitutional Muslim ban and any new bans in all forms, in all venues, and in all ways "no matter how long it may take to achieve justice."


Sarsour, one of the main organizers behind January"s Women's March on Washington, spoke in April alongside Rasmea Odeh, an alleged member of the terrorist-designated Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Odeh, 69, was convicted in Israel in 1970 of taking part in two bombings the year before, one at a supermarket in Jerusalem and another at the British consulate. Two Israeli students were killed in the supermarket bombing.


Another civil rights advocate, Elica Vafaie of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, called Trump"s revamped travel ban "nonsensical and "unconstitutional at its core."


"Despite the president's attempt to obscure this latest Muslim ban 's discriminatory intent, the newest policy remains discriminatory, unlawful, and unconstitutional at its core and deeply impacts our communities," Vafaie said. "This new nonsensical ban continues to discriminate against immigrants, refugees, and visitors from a group of majority Muslim countries."


Vafaie promised that her group "will resist all forms of a Muslim ban in and out of the court."


National Immigration Law Center spokesman Avideh Moussavian said Trump's proclamation has a "discriminatory intent against Muslims."


"Just like a new coat of paint won't repair a house with dangerous structural problems, this new variation on the ban does nothing to cover up its discriminatory intent against Muslims, nor does it remove the xenophobic core of this executive order," Moussavian said.


Other groups also came out against Trump's new travel ban . Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of MomsRising, described the proclamation as "inhumane and Islamophobic."


Six of the ban 's target countries are Muslim-majority nations, and the addition of North Korea and government officials from Venezuela does not cancel out the deep anti-Muslim spirit of this policy," Rowe-Finkbeiner said. "This inhumane and Islamophobic policy isn't based on valid security concerns, but rather is rooted in prejudice that is antithetical to our nation's values." describes itself as an online grassroots organization of over a million people "working to increase family economic security, decrease discrimination against women and moms."


On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court canceled oral arguments scheduled for

Oct. 10 concerning a previous version of Trump's travel ban . Now, government officials and opponents will file new briefs concerning the latest policy.


A second CAIR spokesman, Gadeir Abbas, urged the Supreme Court to strike down Trump's immigration rules.


"The arrival of the Muslim ban 3.0, on Sunday and the cancellation of the October U.S. Supreme Court hearing indicate that federal courts must broadly prohibit Trump administration officials from using religion as a basis for any decision at the border or in the visa and immigration system," Abbas said. "We need this broad prohibition so that we don't have to later litigate a Muslim Ban 4.0 and 5.0."


Trump's new proclamation contains a number of exemptions, in keeping with a framework established in late June by the Supreme Court. Individuals from the relevant countries with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States will be issued visas. Iranian nationals holding student or exchange visitor visas are unaffected by the order.


Officials further said no visas will be revoked as a result of Sunday's proclamation.


Sudan is the only country named in the original travel ban which does not appear in Sunday's directive.


Critics of Trump's immigration policies have announced plans for a NoMuslimBanEver rally on Oct. 18.




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