The Muslim Ban: One Year Later

What we're doing about it

December 5, 2018


This past Tuesday, December 4, 2018, was the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court allowing the third iteration of Trump’s Muslim Ban to take full effect as the case was litigated. Implementing the Ban prevented nationals from five Muslim-majority countries — Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Somalia — as well as North Korea and Venezuela from entering the country. On June 26 of this past year, members of these communities were dealt an additional blow when the Supreme Court held the Muslim Ban to be constitutional, a decision which we advocated against in alliance with the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign.

In the one year since the Supreme Court’s initial decision, the Muslim Ban has been followed by heightened family separation policies and a court battle over the administration’s DACA rescindment, as well as efforts to curtail legal immigration through the public charge rule, changes to the asylum process, and the militarization of the southern border. The sum total of these moves sketch out an expressly white nationalist immigration policy, wherein the lives of non-white immigrants are completely disregarded in the service of scoring political points or institutionalizing nativist bigotries.

The ACLU published personal stories describing the Muslim Ban as a family separation policy in its own right for forcing individuals “to choose between [their] family and the life [they’ve] tried to build here.” The Muslim Ban has severed the familial and communal bonds among communities who, by existing at the axes of oppressions like Islamophobia and structural disempowerment, already need the most support. The Ban has also come alongside a rise in racially- and ethnically-motivated hate crimes as well as widespread distrust between communities and law enforcement, particularly immigration enforcement. These effects are all interwoven and reverberate beyond immigrants from the countries explicitly mentioned in the Ban.

In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision, we positioned ourselves to counteract the Muslim Ban on two fronts:

  • Amend the Immigration and Nationality Act, which would dramatically limit the president’s authority to oversee the Ban, and
  • Demand congressional oversight over the Ban’s practical implementation.

We are excited to work on both with our allies in civil society and members of this new Congress, many of whom have proven responsive to the nation’s outrage at some of the administration’s more recent immigration policies and stances.

The last year has made abundantly clear that a substantive response to the Muslim Ban is not only morally required, but the expressed interest of the vast majority of American citizens. We will continue to seek out willing partners who will help us do that work for our communities and the many others who stand to be impacted.

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