One Year of the Muslim Ban. One Year of Resistance.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sat­ur­day, Jan­u­ary 27, 2018 is the one-year anniver­sary of the Trump administration’s first Mus­lim Ban, a bla­tant­ly Islam­o­pho­bic order bar­ring entry of immi­grants and refugees from sev­en major­i­ty-Mus­lim coun­tries. This administration’s divi­sive rhetoric and poli­cies, includ­ing sev­er­al iter­a­tions of the Mus­lim Ban, have led to increas­ing attacks aimed at Mus­lims and those per­ceived to be Mus­lim in the Unit­ed States.

To mark one year of this administration’s immoral Mus­lim Ban, Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), released the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“No one should fear for their safe­ty because of their coun­try of ori­gin, how they pray, speak, or dress. Yet that is exact­ly what this admin­is­tra­tion attempt­ed to accom­plish one year ago today when it signed into the law its first Mus­lim Ban. Over the year, through a com­bi­na­tion of hate­ful rhetoric, tox­ic tweets, and pol­lut­ed poli­cies, includ­ing four iter­a­tions of the Mus­lim Ban, this admin­is­tra­tion has made every effort to insti­tu­tion­al­ize Islam­o­pho­bia.

A forth­com­ing report by SAALT reveals the dead­ly con­se­quences of this administration’s anti-Mus­lim agen­da. From Elec­tion Day 2016 to Elec­tion Day 2017, SAALT doc­u­ment­ed 302 inci­dents of hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Arab, and Mid­dle East­ern indi­vid­u­als in the U.S., of which an astound­ing 82% were moti­vat­ed by anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment. It is enough to sim­ply be per­ceived as Mus­lim to be a tar­get of attack. This marks a 45% increase in hate vio­lence from the year lead­ing up to the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, lev­els of vio­lence not seen since the year after Sep­tem­ber 11.

While the White House does every­thing it can to nor­mal­ize hate, our com­mu­ni­ties con­tin­ue to nor­mal­ize resis­tance to this administration’s anti-Mus­lim agen­da. One year ago we took to the air­ports and streets in defi­ance of the Mus­lim Ban. Today the strug­gle con­tin­ues, and our com­mu­ni­ties are mobi­liz­ing nation­wide in defi­ance of divi­sion and in fur­ther­ance of equal­i­ty, fair­ness, and respect. Every day, for as long as it takes, we will demand that our nation’s val­ues are root­ed in cel­e­brat­ing dif­fer­ences, not crim­i­nal­iz­ing them.

The Mus­lim Ban has no place in our society—not one year ago, not now, not ever.”

***

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) is a nation­al, non­par­ti­san, non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that fights for racial jus­tice and advo­cates for the civ­il rights of all South Asians in the Unit­ed States. Our ulti­mate vision is dig­ni­ty and full inclu­sion for all.

CONTACT: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

SAALT Responds to Government Shutdown, Demands DREAM Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On Fri­day night, due to the President’s cal­lous deci­sion to ter­mi­nate DACA in Sep­tem­ber and the ongo­ing inabil­i­ty of Con­gress to do its job and pass a clean DREAM Act, the gov­ern­ment shut­down.

In response, Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), released the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“America’s laws should reflect our core val­ues of fair­ness, equal­i­ty, and free­dom. Yet the tox­ic anti-immi­grant rhetoric and poli­cies of this admin­is­tra­tion con­tin­ue to fly in the face of our nation’s val­ues and led to today’s gov­ern­ment shut­down.

Since the Pres­i­dent decid­ed to ter­mi­nate DACA in Sep­tem­ber, over 800,000 DREAM­ers have lived in com­plete uncer­tain­ty. More than 15,000 DREAM­ers have already lost their sta­tus and face the dai­ly threat of depor­ta­tion. The U.S. is home to 450,000 undoc­u­ment­ed Indi­ans, in addi­tion to at least 23,000 Indi­ans and Pak­istani DREAM­ers. The absence of a DREAM Act puts all their lives at risk.

Month after month, Con­gress refus­es to do the will of the peo­ple, despite over­whelm­ing bipar­ti­san vot­er sup­port for DACA and the DREAM Act. The Pres­i­dent and his allies have stained nego­ti­a­tions with the most vul­gar and insult­ing lan­guage imag­in­able, reveal­ing exact­ly what this admin­is­tra­tion thinks of immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties. By what alche­my does this make Amer­i­ca great?

A gov­ern­ment shut­down hurts every­one, from gov­ern­ment employ­ees to the hun­dreds of thou­sands of DREAM­ers who still face the threat of depor­ta­tion from the only coun­try they’ve ever called home.

DREAM­ers are not bar­gain­ing chips. To play polit­i­cal pin­ball with their lives does not reflect the core val­ues of our nation. We need Con­gress to pro­tect immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties, and to do their job to ensure dig­ni­ty and full inclu­sion for all Amer­i­cans. This is the will of the peo­ple. Con­gress must do its job once and for all and pass a clean DREAM Act. There’s no time to lose.”

***

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) is a nation­al, non­par­ti­san, non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that fights for racial jus­tice and advo­cates for the civ­il rights of all South Asians in the Unit­ed States. Our ulti­mate vision is dig­ni­ty and full inclu­sion for all.

CONTACT: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

Stop Ravi’s Deportation — We need your help!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Ravi Rag­bir, a promi­nent immi­grant rights activist, com­mu­ni­ty leader, and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the New Sanc­tu­ary Coali­tion of New York City, was detained while check­ing-in to Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment (ICE) at 26 Fed­er­al Plaza in New York City today. Rav­i’s deten­tion is part and par­cel of the esca­lat­ing raids and depor­ta­tions our com­mu­ni­ties con­tin­ue to expe­ri­ence under the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s anti-immi­grant agen­da.

Here are ways you can help us secure Ravi’s immediate release:

CALL THE FOLLOWING ICE OFFICES:
NYC ICE Field Office Direc­tor: 212–238-4530
NYC ICE Field Office: 212–264-4213
ICE Office of Pol­i­cy: 202–732-4292
You can use the fol­low­ing script:

“Hi, my name is ___________, and I am call­ing to request that ICE release Ravi Rag­bir, A Num­ber: 044–248-862. Ravi was detained today in New York City. Ravi is a hus­band, father, and a cher­ished com­mu­ni­ty leader, and we need him here in the Unit­ed States. I respect­ful­ly ask you to release him from deten­tion and grant him a new stay of removal. Thank you.”

CALL YOUR LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS:
If you live in New York, call:
Sen­a­tor Chuck Schumer: 212–486-4430 (NYC); 202–224-6542 (DC)
Sen­a­tor Kirsten Gilli­brand: 212–688-6262 (NYC); 202–224-4451 (DC)
If you live out­side of New York, call your local rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Con­gress. You can find their con­tact infor­ma­tion here.

You can use the fol­low­ing script:

“Hel­lo, my name is ___, and I call­ing about Ravi Rag­bir, A Num­ber: 044–248-862. Ravi was detained today in New York City. Ravi is a hus­band, father, and cher­ished com­mu­ni­ty leader, and we need him here in the Unit­ed States. I respect­ful­ly ask you to meet with DHS Sec­re­tary Nielsen and urge her to release Ravi from deten­tion and grant him a new stay of removal. Thank you.”

SAALT and our part­ners nation­wide con­tin­ue to demand jus­tice and full inclu­sion for our com­mu­ni­ties, and we will con­tin­ue push­ing back against this admin­is­tra­tion’s anti-immi­grant agen­da. Please let us know if you wit­ness any ICE raids or arrests by email­ing us at info@saalt.org. We are going to go the dis­tance with and for our com­mu­ni­ties until jus­tice is served.

SAALT Statement on Court Order Blocking DACA Termination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) wel­comes yesterday’s deci­sion from the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the North­ern Dis­trict of Cal­i­for­nia to con­tin­ue imple­ment­ing the Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA) pro­gram for those who have already received DACA sta­tus. In a strong­ly word­ed rul­ing, Dis­trict Judge William Alsup blocked the Trump administration’s dev­as­tat­ing deci­sion in late 2017 to ter­mi­nate the DACA pro­gram, cit­ing the harm­ful impacts on fam­i­lies, employ­ers, and com­mu­ni­ties across the nation. Judge Alsup’s order directs the admin­is­tra­tion to accept DACA renew­al appli­ca­tions from any­one who obtained DACA sta­tus as of Sep­tem­ber 5, 2017 and to “main­tain the DACA pro­gram on a nation­wide basis.”

In response, Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT, issued the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“Amer­i­ca’s found­ing ideals are ground­ed in the belief that we are all cre­at­ed equal. The President’s deci­sion to end the DACA pro­gram in Sep­tem­ber 2017 reject­ed this core val­ue and put the lives of near­ly 800,000 DREAM­ers at risk. Mean­while, over 15,000 peo­ple have lost their work per­mits and 122 DREAM­ers lose their DACA sta­tus every day, leav­ing them vul­ner­a­ble to depor­ta­tion. While yes­ter­day’s court order pro­vides momen­tary relief, we need a per­ma­nent fix by pass­ing a clean DREAM Act that resists using DREAM­ers’ par­ents and fam­i­ly-based immi­gra­tion as bar­gain­ing chips.

Month after month, and despite over­whelm­ing bipar­ti­san vot­er sup­port for DACA and the DREAM Act, Con­gress con­tin­ues to kick the can down the road, turn­ing its back on hun­dreds of thou­sands of DREAM­ers. The US is home to 450,000 undoc­u­ment­ed Indi­ans, in addi­tion to at least 23,000 Indi­ans and Pak­istani DREAM­ers. It’s time for Con­gress to do their job and to act once and for all.

On Tues­day, adding to his now-com­mon­place ver­bal gym­nas­tics, Pres­i­dent Trump claimed he’s will­ing to ‘take the heat’ to push through bipar­ti­san immi­gra­tion leg­is­la­tion. From ter­mi­nat­ing DACA, rescind­ing Tem­po­rary Pro­tect­ed Sta­tus, and sup­port­ing the RAISE Act, immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties have been feel­ing the heat for near­ly a year under this administration’s anti-immi­grant agen­da. We demand less talk and more action to pass a clean DREAM Act with no addi­tion­al bor­der enforce­ment or cuts to fam­i­ly immi­gra­tion.

SAALT along with our nation­al part­ners will con­tin­ue to apply max­i­mum pres­sure until our lead­ers do their jobs and rep­re­sent the Amer­i­can people’s demands. Con­gress must act now and ensure that a clean DREAM Act is part of the Jan­u­ary 19 spend­ing bill.”

***
South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) is a nation­al, non­par­ti­san, non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that fights for racial jus­tice and advo­cates for the civ­il rights of all South Asians in the Unit­ed States. Our ulti­mate vision is dig­ni­ty and full inclu­sion for all.    

CONTACT: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org