SAALT Statement Condemning Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

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 — vivek@saalt.org