FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national South Asian civil rights organization, strongly condemns President Trump’s revised and stubbornly racist Executive Order effectively banning Muslims, rejecting refugees, and expanding surveillance on Muslim-American communities under the guise of national security.
“In a twisted dance of trial and error, the President continues his dogged pursuit of a Muslim ban despite national outrage and a unanimous Ninth Circuit decision blocking enforcement of his original Order,” stated Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. “No matter the legal gymnastics, this latest order is a thinly veiled assault on Muslims, immigrants, people of color, and the founding ideals of equality and freedom in the United States.
Today’s order targets immigration from six Muslim-majority countries deemed terrorism-prone, despite the Ninth Circuit pointing out that the government provided no evidence to justify this claim. The President’s original order curtailed rights, broke up families, denigrated Muslims and immigrant communities, and today’s order threatens to do the same. Carving out exceptions for some immigrants does not make this order any more acceptable.
“I’m here following through on what I pledged to do, that’s all I’m doing” noted President Trump in a recent press conference. This is indeed true. SAALT’s recent report, “Power, Pain, Potential,” documents over 200 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric against South Asian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Arab, and Middle Eastern Americans during the 2016 elections, with 94% of incidents motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment and President Trump responsible for 21% of the rhetoric we tracked.
Trump’s dangerous combination of rhetoric and policies has fanned the flames of violence, including the deadly February shooting of two Indian men in Kansas and this weekend’s shooting of a Sikh man in Kent, Washington. The assailants in both cases told the victims to leave the US and go back to their countries before opening fire. In the last seven weeks four mosques have been burned, numerous homes have been vandalized, and threats have routinely been made against our communities.
The fear, intimidation, and anxiety carried by millions in our communities everyday are the invisible wounds produced by this administration’s reckless policies that continue with today’s revised Executive Order. SAALT calls upon the President to immediately reverse course and end his campaign against Muslim and immigrant communities. It is time for the White House to set the tone for our nation and turn its back on poisonous rhetoric. It is time for our nation to begin to heal from the violence.
Contact: Vivek Trivedi — firstname.lastname@example.org