SAALT Welcomes Latest Court Ruling Blocking “Muslim Ban 2.0”


South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al South Asian racial jus­tice and civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion, wel­comes the 9th Cir­cuit deci­sion to uphold a nation­wide injunc­tion on Pres­i­dent Trump’s “Mus­lim Ban 2.0” exec­u­tive order.

“What the Pres­i­dent called ‘watered-down’, the Court of Appeals called uncon­sti­tu­tion­al,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT. “The 9th Cir­cuit, along with numer­ous courts, have made it abun­dant­ly clear that dis­crim­i­na­tion on the basis of reli­gion and nation­al ori­gin are offen­sive to the ideals of our democ­ra­cy. While wel­comed, today’s rul­ing could not block the hate the Pres­i­den­t’s poli­cies have already cre­at­ed and val­i­dat­ed. Vio­lence against our com­mu­ni­ties is on the rise. Visa issuances have slowed dra­mat­i­cal­ly. These are the grim real­i­ties our com­mu­ni­ties expe­ri­ence in pub­lic every day.”

SAALT has doc­u­ment­ed increas­ing hate vio­lence inci­dents since the Pres­i­dent took office, num­ber­ing over 100 inci­dents tar­get­ing Mus­lim, Arab, and South Asian Amer­i­cans alone. Trag­ic shoot­ings in Kansas and Wash­ing­ton State, arson attacks and van­dal­ism of mosques, homes, cam­pus­es, and busi­ness­es across the coun­try, and anti-Mus­lim ral­lies in 30 cities over the week­end demon­strate the fer­tile envi­ron­ment for hate this admin­is­tra­tion has cul­ti­vat­ed.

Data released by the State Depart­ment also sug­gests that the num­ber of visas issued to peo­ple from six major­i­ty-Mus­lim coun­tries tar­get­ed by the Pres­i­den­t’s exec­u­tive order appears to be slow­ing down dra­mat­i­cal­ly. The num­ber of non­im­mi­grant visas issued to cit­i­zens from the six major­i­ty-Mus­lim coun­tries in March and April have decreased by near­ly 50% from the 2016 aver­age.

Despite strong rul­ings by var­i­ous courts on the “Mus­lim Bans”, hate and divi­sion con­tin­ue to be a fact of life for our com­mu­ni­ties. SAALT main­tains that immi­gra­tion reform that upholds the rights of all, leg­is­la­tion such as the No Hate Act and End Racial and Reli­gious Pro­fil­ing Act that cod­i­fy pro­tec­tions for all of our com­mu­ni­ties, and strong hate crimes laws in all 50 states are key pri­or­i­ties we must demand from all of our elect­ed and appoint­ed offi­cials.

As the 9th Cir­cuit not­ed, “immi­gra­tion, even for the Pres­i­dent, is not a one-per­son show.” Nor is the strug­gle for civ­il rights and lib­er­ties. We must applaud today’s order, but we must con­tin­ue to demand jus­tice and full inclu­sion in our Amer­i­ca.

Con­tact:  Vivek Trive­di —