Dear Com­mu­ni­ty, 

We’re writ­ing to share a ground­break­ing shift for SAALT. We have entered chrysalis which will con­tin­ue through late 2024. Dur­ing this time, we are com­mit­ted to the following:

  • Build an analysis of caste. We have ceased exter­nal pro­gram­ming to focus our ener­gy towards devel­op­ing an indi­vid­ual and shared analy­sis of caste, through polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion, prin­ci­pled strug­gle, reflec­tion, and rela­tion­ship build­ing, start­ing with our own selves, bio­log­i­cal and cho­sen fam­i­lies, and our caste communities. 
  • Co-stewardship inside an accountable ecosystem. We have tran­si­tioned from an ED and Board non-prof­it mod­el, to a co-stew­ard­ship non­prof­it mod­el, held by a cir­cle of South Asian account­abil­i­ty part­ners com­mit­ted to build­ing an analy­sis of caste. 

Why chrysalis?

For years, SAALT has received feed­back that our orga­ni­za­tion is in a per­pet­u­al “iden­ti­ty crisis.” 

We’ve felt it too. Our core con­tra­dic­tion is not lost on us. We’re attempt­ing to build pow­er for all South Asians, while lack­ing a deep under­stand­ing of an ancient, home­grown oppres­sion: caste. For decades, caste has inher­ent­ly result­ed in social inequal­i­ty, which informs the posi­tion­al­i­ty of South Asians in the US. 

SAALT has much to cel­e­brate across its 20 year his­to­ry of con­ven­ing, coor­di­nat­ing and rep­re­sent­ing South Asian com­mu­ni­ties nation­al­ly. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, SAALT’s agen­da has pri­mar­i­ly been dri­ven by high caste lead­er­ship, coastal elit­ism and oth­er priv­i­leged South Asian com­mu­ni­ty urgen­cies. Through rela­tion­ship build­ing and deep lis­ten­ing with and to Dalit Bahu­jan com­mu­ni­ties, along­side our own study of caste, SAALT began the jour­ney towards chrysalis. The need for this became more evi­dent in 2019 when SAALT sup­port­ed asy­lum seek­ers flee­ing South Asia because of caste vio­lence. As a result, we are assert­ing that build­ing South Asian pow­er requires coura­geous lead­er­ship and a com­mit­ment to cul­tur­al trans­for­ma­tion that is root­ed in an analy­sis of caste.

If we sim­ply con­tin­ued the work of SAALT as is, we would over­look the essen­tial first step – to build an analy­sis of caste – through which we under­stand our South Asian­ness, and nav­i­gate the oth­er val­ues we hold dear. By not under­stand­ing caste, we lack a true under­stand­ing of our­selves and our peo­ples’ his­to­ries. We can nev­er ful­ly or authen­ti­cal­ly par­tic­i­pate in cre­at­ing a racial­ly, gen­der, eco­nom­i­cal­ly, dis­abil­i­ty, and envi­ron­men­tal­ly just world with­in our dias­poric com­mu­ni­ties. Nor can we be respon­si­ble co-con­spir­a­tors with oth­er com­mu­ni­ties of color.

Through­out our twen­ty year his­to­ry, SAALT’s advo­ca­cy, pol­i­cy, and pro­gram­ming have lacked this core foun­da­tion and at times have even been caste suprema­cist in nature as a result. This focused, inten­tion­al time to build a caste analy­sis is what is need­ed for us to be tru­ly trans­for­ma­tive as South Asian Amer­i­cans and as a South Asian Amer­i­can serv­ing institution. 

Our inten­tions must be aligned with our actions. There­fore, we are unapolo­get­i­cal­ly ded­i­cat­ing our time, resources, mon­ey, and spa­cious­ness to this first step through late 2024. 

Our ultimate vision

We take this step with clear con­vic­tion and this vision in mind:  to build and sus­tain an anti-caste insti­tu­tion­al cul­ture, struc­ture, and poten­tial change work that is root­ed in us relat­ing to each oth­er and the world as stew­ards of the anti-caste move­ment. We can only expect trans­for­ma­tion in the world if we prac­tice it first with each other.

In com­mu­ni­ty,

The SAALT co-stewards

Statement on House Judiciary Hearing on Discrimination and Civil Rights of Muslim Arab and South Asian Communities

Feb­ru­ary 25, 2022

Dear Chair­man Nadler and Rank­ing Mem­ber Jordan,

As orga­ni­za­tions that work with­in Mus­lim, Arab and South Asian com­mu­ni­ties at the local and nation­al lev­el, we are pleased to see the House Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee hold­ing an impor­tant March 1st Hear­ing on Dis­crim­i­na­tion and Civ­il Rights of Mus­lim, Arab, and South Asian com­mu­ni­ties. We rec­og­nize the tremen­dous work orga­ni­za­tions have done to advo­cate for con­gres­sion­al hear­ings that cen­ter the ero­sion of civ­il lib­er­ties for our communities.

How­ev­er, as orga­ni­za­tions who are work­ing with impact­ed com­mu­ni­ties, we are con­cerned about the fram­ing of the hear­ing. We write to offer rec­om­men­da­tions for future hear­ings per­tain­ing to our com­mu­ni­ties. Such hear­ings are part of the offi­cial his­tor­i­cal record and often end up paint­ing a nar­ra­tive and push­ing pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions that fail to clear­ly name state vio­lence, struc­tur­al Islam­o­pho­bia, and the War on Ter­ror poli­cies as the dri­vers of indi­vid­ual acts of inter­per­son­al vio­lence. South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) issued reports in 2017 and 2018 doc­u­ment­ing the direct cor­re­la­tion between polit­i­cal rhetoric, fed­er­al poli­cies, and the increase in inci­dents of hate vio­lence, which con­tin­ues today.

Increas­ing­ly, we have found that the lim­it­ed frame­work of civ­il rights and civ­il lib­er­ties that often focus­es exclu­sive­ly on secu­ri­ty and dis­crim­i­na­tion does not ade­quate­ly cap­ture the broad impacts of sys­temic vio­lence on our com­mu­ni­ties, which include eco­nom­ic, health, hous­ing, and edu­ca­tion, among oth­er social deter­mi­nants. This lim­i­ta­tion has con­tin­ued to fail in com­pre­hen­sive­ly and sub­stan­tive­ly address­ing the scope and mag­ni­tude of the vio­lence our com­mu­ni­ties have expe­ri­enced in the twen­ty years after 9/11.

We reit­er­ate the requests in our state­ment for the record to the House Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee in response to your April, 2019 Hear­ing on Hate Crimes and White Nation­al­ism to once again take the fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions in plan­ning hearings:

  • Broad­en the frame of “civ­il rights and lib­er­ties” to bet­ter under­stand how state vio­lence, struc­tur­al Islam­o­pho­bia, and the War on Ter­ror poli­cies are the dri­vers of indi­vid­ual acts of inter­per­son­al violence.
  • Engage more direct­ly and much fur­ther in advance with com­mu­ni­ty-based orga­ni­za­tions, grass­roots and advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tions at the local lev­el in devel­op­ing the frame­work for a hear­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing witnesses.
  • Hold mul­ti­ple pan­els that cen­ter sur­vivors, impact­ed com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, and com­mu­ni­ty-based organizations.
  • Ensure such hear­ings are not gov­ern­ment plat­forms for Islam­o­phobes, big­ots, and racists to pro­mote their hate­ful agen­das as if they are a legit­i­mate jux­ta­po­si­tion to com­mu­ni­ty-based testimony.
  • Offer more lead time for orga­ni­za­tions to sub­mit state­ments for the record.
  • Cre­ate space to hear direct­ly from one group rather than group­ing Mus­lim, Arab, and South Asian iden­ti­ties togeth­er. Often in such group­ings, impor­tant racial, gen­der, eth­nic, class, caste, and reli­gious iden­ti­ties are erased.
  • Invite grass­roots and com­mu­ni­ty-based groups to speak who hold an abo­li­tion­ist and trans­for­ma­tive jus­tice frame­work to address state, insti­tu­tion­al, and inter­per­son­al forms of vio­lence. We want to ampli­fy the Mus­lim Abo­li­tion­ist Futures grass­roots pol­i­cy agen­da call­ing for abol­ish­ing the War on Ter­ror and build­ing com­mu­ni­ties of care and hope such hear­ings mov­ing for­ward include pro­gres­sive pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions that tie togeth­er the var­i­ous, inter­sect­ing, and com­plex root caus­es of vio­lence rather than priv­i­leg­ing nar­row, reformist pol­i­cy agendas.

As groups on the front­lines of defend­ing our com­mu­ni­ties tar­get­ed by puni­tive gov­ern­ment poli­cies, our orga­ni­za­tions hope there is a rad­i­cal shift in how such hear­ings are car­ried out. Sur­vivors of state vio­lence, hate vio­lence, and big­otry deserve hon­est inquiries and true jus­tice from their elect­ed offi­cials. Con­gress must hold sub­se­quent hear­ings that com­pre­hen­sive­ly and sub­stan­tive­ly con­front and address these issues.

Jus­tice For Mus­lims Col­lec­tive
South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT)
Mus­lim Abo­li­tion­ist Futures Network

View as a PDF here.

Call to Action: Protect Immigrant Women’s Ability to Work

​93% of immi­grants who are on H‑4 visas and have work per­mits or employ­ment autho­riza­tion doc­u­ments (EAD) are South Asian women.  Many of them are essen­tial work­ers, pro­vid­ing crit­i­cal ser­vices dur­ing this pan­dem­ic, but they’re not able to work because of delays in pro­cess­ing the renew­al of their work per­mits. Join us in urg­ing Mem­bers of Con­gress to ask Pres­i­dent-Elect Biden to extend the valid­i­ty of all expired H‑4 EAD work per­mits on day one of his administration.

Here are 4 ways you can step up and advocate for our communities' EAD recipients:

  • If you have less than a minute, spread the word to your loved ones and community members via WhatsApp. Click­ing on the link will also allow you to copy and paste the mes­sage to oth­er plat­forms, such as Sig­nal or SMS.
  • If you have three minutes, send our pre-written letter to your Members using This form uses your address to deter­mine your elect­ed offi­cials and their con­tact infor­ma­tion. You can use SAALT’s pre-writ­ten let­ter (which is also avail­able in full under the image at the bot­tom of this page), or edit it and write your own, as well as tag it under “Immi­gra­tion” to ensure it catch­es the eyes of your Representatives.
  • If you have five minutes, tweet at your Members by clicking here and tagging them. You can find the name of your Rep­re­sen­ta­tives here, then find their Twit­ter accounts.
  • If you have more than five minutes, and have experienced difficulties with EAD processing due to USCIS delays, tell us your story here. Hear­ing the human impact of this issue is essen­tial for jour­nal­ists and law­mak­ers to under­stand why it’s so urgent that the incom­ing Biden Admin­is­tra­tion extends work per­mits for all those on H‑4 visas. If you know loved ones or com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers who have sim­i­lar sto­ries, ask them to detail their expe­ri­ences, too.

SAALT, along­side our allies Asian Amer­i­cans Advanc­ing Jus­tice AAJC, NAPAWF, and Rak­sha, are work­ing with Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bon­nie Wat­son Cole­man to demand that the incom­ing Biden Admin­is­tra­tion pro­tects our com­mu­ni­ties’ EAD recip­i­ents by extend­ing the valid­i­ty peri­od of all expired H‑4 EADs to resolve pro­cess­ing delays. For more infor­ma­tion, or to ask any fur­ther ques­tions, please con­tact the SAALT’s Pol­i­cy Man­ag­er Mah­noor Hus­sain at

Dear Con­gressper­son:

I am a res­i­dent of your dis­trict, and am writ­ing to request that you sign on to Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman’s letter to Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden and his Admin­is­tra­tion, demand­ing imme­di­ate relief to the many fam­i­lies adverse­ly impact­ed by sig­nif­i­cant delays in the pro­cess­ing of work autho­riza­tion doc­u­ments (EADs) for peo­ple on H‑4 visas. These delays in EAD renewals are caus­ing laps­es in work autho­riza­tion and job loss­es affect­ing many peo­ple, most­ly women of col­or, in my town. This is why I respect­ful­ly request that you ask Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden and his Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty to pub­lish a Fed­er­al Reg­is­ter notice on day one of their admin­is­tra­tion to extend the valid­i­ty peri­od of all expired H‑4 EADs.

As you know, in 2015, after sev­er­al years of advo­ca­cy by com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, includ­ing var­i­ous South Asian women’s orga­ni­za­tions, the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty (DHS) issued a rule allow­ing cer­tain H‑4 depen­dent spous­es of H‑1B visa hold­ers to legal­ly seek employ­ment in the US. Once an H‑1B hold­er is spon­sored for employ­ment-based law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dent (LPR) sta­tus (oth­er­wise known as a green card) his or her H‑4 visa-hold­ing spouse may apply for work autho­riza­tion. This rule pre­sent­ed an impor­tant step towards rec­ti­fy­ing gen­der dis­par­i­ties in our immi­gra­tion sys­tem as around 95% of H‑4 visa hold­ers who have secured work autho­riza­tion are women. Before the rule was grant­ed, many women on H‑4 visas described depres­sion and iso­la­tion in mov­ing to a new coun­try and not being allowed to work out­side of the home.

These women on H‑4 visas work in a vari­ety of fields includ­ing as essen­tial health­care work­ers, includ­ing in research and devel­op­ment roles at phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies; these women play tremen­dous­ly impor­tant roles as we con­tin­ue to bat­tle the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, women are los­ing and will con­tin­ue to lose their jobs until this is put right, dis­rupt­ing the lives of their fam­i­lies and the func­tion­ing of employ­ers in our dis­tricts. I respect­ful­ly request that you co-sign Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bon­nie Wat­son Coleman’s let­ter to Pres­i­dent Elect Joe Biden before Decem­ber 9, 2020 and stand with the H‑4 EADs in our com­mu­ni­ty.

Your Con­stituent

South Asian Migrants in Detention

South Asian Migrants in Deten­tion: A Factsheet

This fact sheet pro­vides an overview of trends in South Asian migra­tion along the U.S. South­ern bor­der, con­di­tions many South Asian migrants face in deten­tion facil­i­ties, spe­cif­ic deten­tion cas­es SAALT has tracked since 2014,  and num­bers of undoc­u­ment­ed Indians.

Community Guide on “Public Charge”

On Jan­u­ary 27th, 2020 the Supreme Court tem­porar­i­ly lift­ed nation­wide court orders that kept the Trump Admin­is­tra­tion’s pro­posed “pub­lic charge” reg­u­la­tion from tak­ing effect.  This inher­ent­ly dis­crim­i­na­to­ry reg­u­la­tion can now go into effect nation­wide in all states except Illi­nois, where a statewide injunc­tion blocks it.

The “pub­lic charge” reg­u­la­tion expands the def­i­n­i­tion of pub­lic charge and tar­gets any­one who uses applic­a­ble health, nutri­tion, or hous­ing sup­port pro­grams. If the gov­ern­ment deter­mines that some­one is like­ly to become a “pub­lic charge,” that per­son can be refused law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dence (“green card”),change/extension of non-immi­grant visas, or entry into the U.S.

Details on exact­ly how this reg­u­la­tion will be imple­ment­ed have not yet been revealed.  How­ev­er, those most direct­ly impact­ed by the reg­u­la­tion will be low­er income immi­grants of col­or, includ­ing South Asians:

  • Near­ly 472,000 or 10% of the approx­i­mate­ly five mil­lion South Asians in the U.S. live in poverty.
  •  Among South Asian Amer­i­cans, Pak­ista­nis (15.8%), Nepali (23.9%), Bangladeshis (24.2%), and Bhutanese (33.3%) had the high­est pover­ty rates.
  •  Over 10% of green card recip­i­ents in FY 2016 were from South Asian countries.
  •  Bangladeshi and Nepali com­mu­ni­ties have the low­est medi­an house­hold incomes out of all Asian Amer­i­can groups, earn­ing $49,800 and $43,500 respectively.3
  • Near­ly 61% of non-cit­i­zen Bangladeshi Amer­i­can fam­i­lies receive pub­lic ben­e­fits for at least one of the four fed­er­al pro­grams includ­ing TANF, SSI, SNAP, and Medicaid/CHIP, 48% of non-cit­i­zen Pak­istani fam­i­lies and 11% of non-cit­i­zen Indi­an fam­i­lies also receive pub­lic benefits.

Please fol­low updates via this resource from Pro­tect­ing Immi­grant Families.

11th Annual NCSO Convening & Advocacy Day

Join us this May for a powerful convergence of NCSO leaders in Washington, D.C.!

The Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions (NCSO) Con­ven­ing will gath­er over 100 rep­re­sen­ta­tives from our NCSO part­ner orga­ni­za­tions on May 9, 2018 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Not only will it pro­vide the oppor­tu­ni­ty to build NCSO strength through strat­e­gy shar­ing and prob­lem-solv­ing, but we will work col­lec­tive­ly to expand knowl­edge on poli­cies and leg­is­la­tion tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties. We have also orga­nized space to enhance our skills relat­ed to advo­ca­cy as well as make for region­al and issue based caucuses.

On May 10, 2018 we will head to Capi­tol Hill for Advo­ca­cy Day. NCSO mem­bers will con­nect with gov­ern­ment offi­cials and Mem­bers of Con­gress. You will have mul­ti­ple oppor­tu­ni­ties to engage with pol­i­cy mak­ers, from a morn­ing Con­gres­sion­al Brief­ing to one-on-one meet­ings with Con­gres­sion­al offices in the afternoon.

To learn more about the 2018 NCSO Con­ven­ing and Advo­ca­cy Day, please review our FAQ . Then, register to attend the Annual NCSO Convening and Advocacy Day where you can con­nect in per­son with NCSO mem­bers and be a part of build­ing our col­lec­tive power!

FAQs: NCSO Convening & Advocacy Day 2018


Are the events acces­si­ble by pub­lic transportation?

The NCSO Con­ven­ing will take place at the George­town Con­fer­ence Cen­ter. Advo­ca­cy Day will take place on Capi­tol Hill, and SAALT will pro­vide a shut­tle for all NCSO Con­ven­ing par­tic­i­pants to attend Advo­ca­cy Day.

What time are check-in and check-out at the George­town Con­fer­ence Center?

Check-in time to the Cen­ter is 4:00pm. Check-out time is 11:00am.

Are the events acces­si­ble for those with phys­i­cal disabilities? 

All event venues are acces­si­ble. Please con­tact with spe­cif­ic ques­tions or requests regard­ing phys­i­cal accessibility. 

What is the dress code?

May 9th | NCSO Con­ven­ing: casual/business casual 

May 10th | Advo­ca­cy Day: business/professional attire 

 Will there be inter­preters avail­able for the events?

All events will be offered in Eng­lish. Reg­is­trants may request an inter­preter dur­ing the online reg­is­tra­tion process. For addi­tion­al in-lan­guage requests, please reach out to no lat­er than March 15, 2018. 

 How will I get to the events?

The NCSO Con­ven­ing will take place at the George­town Con­fer­ence Cen­ter. Advo­ca­cy Day will take place on Capi­tol Hill, and SAALT will pro­vide a shut­tle for all NCSO Con­ven­ing par­tic­i­pants to attend Advo­ca­cy Day. Out­side of this, par­tic­i­pants are respon­si­ble for their pub­lic trans­porta­tion, taxi, and oth­er trav­el costs while attend­ing events. 

Register here.

Understanding the Muslim Bans

The Mus­lim Bans are a series of dis­crim­i­na­to­ry exec­u­tive orders and procla­ma­tions that the Trump admin­is­tra­tion has imple­ment­ed. While the first ver­sion, Mus­lim Ban 1.0, was signed and went into effect on 1/27/2017, with­in a day of being signed, thou­sands of indi­vid­u­als across the coun­try rushed to the air­ports in protest, and sig­nif­i­cant por­tions of it were imme­di­ate­ly blocked by the fed­er­al courts. The admin­is­tra­tion has con­tin­ued to issue dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the Mus­lim Ban, which are work­ing their way through the court sys­tem.  Just as with Mus­lim Ban 1.0, the fed­er­al courts have tem­porar­i­ly blocked sig­nif­i­cant por­tions of the sub­se­quent Mus­lim Bans, find­ing them to be bla­tant­ly anti-Mus­lim, uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, and an abuse of the President’s pow­er. The fight to chal­lenge the Mus­lim Bans con­tin­ues.                                               


Despite intense oppo­si­tion and crit­i­cism from the pub­lic, allied leg­is­la­tors, and the fed­er­al courts, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion has also pushed for­ward oth­er dis­crim­i­na­to­ry poli­cies that share the same goal as the Mus­lim Bans and tar­get Mus­lims and oth­er immi­grants and com­mu­ni­ties of Color.

Extreme Vetting (or the Backdoor Muslim Ban) – On 3/15/2017, the Sec­re­tary of State called for enhanced screen­ing of nation­als of the six coun­tries includ­ed in Mus­lim Ban 2.0. On 5/23/2017, the Office of Man­age­ment and Bud­get approved dis­cre­tionary use of “extreme vet­ting” ques­tions, includ­ing inquiries into social media accounts and exten­sive bio­graph­i­cal and trav­el infor­ma­tion from the last 15 years. Impacts of the pol­i­cy include a dra­mat­ic decline in visa appli­ca­tions; fur­ther delays in visa issuance to nation­als of Mus­lim-major­i­ty coun­tries tar­get­ed by the Mus­lim Bans; and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry prac­tices while issu­ing visas.

Ending Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for Sudan - On 9/19/2017, a few days before Sudan was removed from Mus­lim Ban 3.0, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion announced an end to TPS for Sudan, effec­tive 11/2/2018. Sudanese TPS hold­ers may be forced to return to a coun­try that is still unsta­ble, despite this being the very rea­son for orig­i­nal­ly grant­i­ng TPS to peo­ple from Sudan. These mea­sures raise con­cerns about what is to come next for over 400,000 peo­ple with TPS from dif­fer­ent countries.

Slashing Legal Immigration and Cutting Diversity in our Immigration System – On 2/7/2017, Sen­a­tor Cot­ton (R‑AK) and Sen­a­tor Pur­due (R‑GA) intro­duced a bill that would cut green cards by more than half and end our fam­i­ly-based immi­gra­tion sys­tem. If passed, the Reform­ing Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion for Strong Employ­ment (RAISE) Act, would cut cur­rent lev­els of legal immi­gra­tion by over 50%, and elim­i­nate the Diver­si­ty Visa Lot­tery Pro­gram, which pro­vides oppor­tu­ni­ties for coun­tries that send few immi­grants – often those with a major­i­ty of Mus­lim and/or Black pop­u­la­tions – to apply for a green card.

Slashing Annual Refugee Admissions – On 9/27/2017, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion dras­ti­cal­ly low­ered the annu­al refugee admis­sion cap from 110,000 to 45,000, the low­est cap since 1980, and Mus­lim Ban 4.0 specif­i­cal­ly tar­gets coun­tries that account for approx­i­mate­ly 80% of all Mus­lim refugees reset­tled in the U.S. in the past two years.


*The information provided in this document is just a basic summary and is not legal advice. Every person’s situation is different. For legal advice please contact an attorney. For any information regarding the Muslim Bans please contact Subha Varadarajan, Muslim Ban Legal and Outreach Fellow: A project of Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, CAIR San Francisco Bay Area, and National Immigration Law Center at *


Ban # Date Issued Targeted Populations[1] Impact on Refugees Duration Key Court Actions Current Status
1.0 1/27/17 All refugees and nation­als from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Soma­lia, Sudan, Syr­ia, and Yemen Halt­ed entire program 90 days for all nation­als (not dual cit­i­zens) of tar­get­ed coun­tries; 120 days for refugees; indef­i­nite for Syr­i­an refugees On 2/9/17, the Ninth Cir­cuit held that the Ban should be blocked Revoked by Mus­lim Ban 2.0 on 3/6/2017
2.0 3/6/17 All refugees and nation­als from Iran, Libya, Soma­lia, Sudan, Syr­ia, and Yemen Halt­ed entire program 90 days for all nation­als of tar­get­ed countries,

120 days for all refugees

On 6/26/17, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) allowed part of the ban to go into effect, apply­ing it to those lack­ing a bona fide rela­tion­ship[2] to the U.S. On 9/24/17, the Ban on nation­als from the tar­get­ed coun­tries expired and on 10/24/17, the Ban on refugees expired. SCOTUS dis­missed the cas­es chal­leng­ing the ban as moot.
3.0 9/24/17 Most or all nation­als from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Soma­lia, Syr­ia, and Yemen and gov­ern­ment offi­cials from Venezuela and their families N/A Indef­i­nite On 10/17/17 the Mary­land dis­trict court in IRAP v. Trump blocked the Ban for all indi­vid­u­als with a bona fide rela­tion­ship to the U.S[3]


Pend­ing review:

On 12/6/17, the Ninth Cir­cuit Court of appeals will hear Hawaii v. Trump, and on 12/8/2017, and the Fourth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals will hear IRAP v. Trump 

4.0 10/24/17 Refugees from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Soma­lia, Sudan, South Sudan,

Syr­ia, Yemen and any state­less individuals

Halt­ed pro­gram for tar­get­ed pop­u­la­tions and extreme vet­ting mea­sures for all oth­er refugees Indef­i­nite Chal­lenge filed dis­trict court in Seat­tle (JFS v. Trump) on 11/13/17 Still in effect, pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion hear­ing set for 12/21/2017

[1]  Waivers may be grant­ed under cir­cum­stances set in each Exec­u­tive Order or Proclamation.

[2]  As of Decem­ber 1, 2017, close famil­ial rela­tion­ship in the U.S or a for­mal doc­u­ment­ed rela­tion­ship with a U.S enti­ty. Famil­ial rela­tion­ship includes par­ents (includ­ing in-laws and step- par­ents), spous­es, fiancées, chil­dren (includ­ing step chil­dren), sib­lings (includ­ing step and half-sib­lings), grand­par­ents, grand­chil­dren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. For­mal doc­u­ment­ed rela­tion­ship between stu­dents and uni­ver­si­ties; work­ers and com­pa­nies; and lec­tur­er invit­ed to speak; among oth­er exam­ples are required.

[3] The Hawaii dis­trict court in Hawaii v. Trump ini­tial­ly blocked the Ban for all indi­vid­u­als, BUT on 11/13/17 the Ninth Cir­cuit lim­it­ed this rul­ing to only pro­tect those indi­vid­u­als with a bona fide rela­tion­ship to the U.S.

SAALT thanks our part­ners at Nation­al Immi­gra­tion Law Cen­ter (NILC), Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), and Asian Amer­i­cans Advanc­ing Jus­tice (AAJC) for this info­graph­ic.

Due Process: What it Means for South Asian Immigrants

This post was pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished at the Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­cans for Progress blog as part of the Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Week of Action on immi­gra­tion reform.

Before I start­ed law school, I had def­i­nite­ly heard the term “due process.” I have to con­fess, though, I was­n’t real­ly sure what it meant. All I knew is that it sound­ed good, seemed to be a core Amer­i­can val­ue, and was root­ed in fair­ness. It was some­thing that this coun­try prid­ed itself on as a hall­mark prin­ci­ple that came down from our Found­ing Fathers.

When we talk about immi­gra­tion, there is often talk about due process vio­la­tions affect­ing the lives of immi­grants, but what does that real­ly mean? Of course, we could always turn to our trust­ed friend, the Web­ster’s Dic­tio­nary for some guid­ance: “legal pro­ceed­ings that are car­ried out fol­low­ing estab­lished rules and laws that result in unfair or arbi­trary treat­ment of indi­vid­u­als.” (The legal eagles among us can rely upon the defin­i­tive Black­’s Law Dic­tio­nary for some fanci­er and tech­ni­cal lan­guage, too.) But these lofty and abstract def­i­n­i­tions did not hold much trac­tion for me. It was­n’t until I encoun­tered the real life expe­ri­ences of immi­grants whose due process rights were vio­lat­ed that I under­stood why this val­ue is so dear and needs to be pro­tect­ed in our coun­try’s immi­gra­tion system.

Below are just a few exam­ples spot­light­ing South Asians seek­ing asy­lum that made clear to what due process (or the lack there­of) tru­ly means.

Due process means access to legal representation and legal information: Mon­isha, orig­i­nal­ly from Pak­istan, was an hon­ors grad­u­ate from UC Berke­ley who came from Mum­bai to Texas to seek asy­lum with her par­ents and broth­er when she was ten years old. While in India, her father was very involved in the local Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty — as a result of his activ­i­ties, thi­er fam­i­ly became the tar­get of Hin­du fun­da­men­tal­ist groups. They were denied asy­lum because their attor­neys failed to meet nec­es­sary fil­ing dead­lines. Immi­gra­tion author­ites lat­er arrest­ed her par­ents and broth­er and placed them in depor­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings. Nav­i­ga­tion the com­plex world of immi­gra­tion law is often worse for those who do not have lawyers and have to rep­re­sent them­selves because immi­grants fac­ing depor­ta­tion are not guar­an­teed an attor­ney. Does it seem fair that accu­rate legal infor­ma­tion and com­pe­tent rep­re­sen­ta­tion is often unat­tain­able par­tic­u­lar­ly when the immi­gra­tion sys­tem is so complicated? 

Due process means ensuring that immigrants are not criminalized and placed in detention: Harpal, a Sikh man, chose to be deport­ed back to India where he had been tor­tured, rather than lan­guish in lim­bo in immi­gra­tion deten­tion. When he arrived in the U.S., he set­tled in the Bay Area, began work­ing as a truck dri­ver, and applied for asy­lum. He was lat­er arrest­ed by U.S. gov­ern­ment and immi­gra­tion offi­cials. After being detained for more than eight years in Cal­i­for­nia, much of it in soli­tary con­fine­ment, and tired of wait­ing for Con­ven­tion Against Tor­ture claim to be resolved in the courts, he decid­ed to return to a coun­try where offi­cials had pre­vi­ous­ly mis­treat­ed him severe­ly. Does it seem fair to lock up indi­vid­u­als for years who have com­mit­ted no crime and are wait­ing exces­sive peri­od of time for their immi­gra­tion cas­es to be resolved?

Due process means guaranteeing fairness of immigration court proceedings and case review on appeal: A Sri Lankan woman flee­ing per­se­cu­tion in Sri Lan­ka was denied asy­lum by an immi­gra­tion judge who did not believe her case sim­ply because she was “look­ing up at the ceil­ing” dur­ing tes­ti­mo­ny. The judge ignored detailed evi­dence of her fear of return and based denial on this minor point about her demeanor. Even worse, the appel­late body, the Board of Immi­gra­tion Appeals, did not dis­agree with the judge’s rul­ing. It was not until a fed­er­al court reviewed her case that the ini­tial judge was ordered to con­sid­er her case more thor­ough­ly. Does it seem fair that the safe­ty and lives of immi­grants depend upon often arbi­trary and unfair deci­sions that can occur in Immi­gra­tion Courts and are giv­en lim­it­ed review?

These are just a few sto­ries that you find repli­cat­ing them­selves with­in the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty that con­vey in real terms what the lack of due process looks like. As immi­gra­tion reform moves for­ward, it is cru­cial that due process and fun­da­men­tal fair­ness be restored to poli­cies and pro­ce­dures that affect the lives of so many immi­grants in this country.