immigration

MUSLIM & CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS CONDEMN TRUMP’S CALL FOR MORE ISLAMOPHOBIC POLICIES IN WAKE OF NYC TRAGEDY

San Francisco - In the wake of the attack on the people of New York City this week, President Trump released a variety of xenophobic proposals aimed at hurting immigrant and Muslim communities. Threatening to “end chain migration,” terminating the long-standing diversity lottery program, abandoning due process and civil liberties, the President is attempting to exploit Tuesday’s attacks to advance an aggressively anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant agenda long championed by his administration.

In response, Christina Sinha from Asian Americans Advancing JusticeAlbert Fox Cahn from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Avideh Moussavian from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) released the following statements:

Christina Sinha, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice:

“We condemn the recent attack in New York City and offer our deepest condolences to the victims and families impacted by this horrible act of hate. However, we cannot allow President Trump to use this terrible tragedy as an excuse to further scapegoat Muslims and intensify his xenophobic, anti-Muslim policy agenda.”

Albert Fox Cahn, CAIR Representative:

“CAIR condemns the horrific and cowardly attack in Manhattan and offers sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured. Rather than trying to bring our country together, this President is seeking to rip apart our constitution, attacking our fundamental rights. We’ve never sent suspects arrested on U.S. soil to Guantanamo Bay, not even in the darkest days after 9/11.”

Avideh Moussavian, Senior Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center:

“Strong leaders recognize that moments of tragedy call for unity, not sowing harmful divisions. After this week’s tragic events in New York, President Trump once again failed to show the leadership we need in these moments and instead wants to exploit this devastating attack to promote his laundry list of anti-Muslim policies to turn our nation into a country where the American dream is sold to the highest bidder. These proposals would betray our fundamental values of fairness and due process and threaten to turn our immigration laws into a race and class-based system. Our lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should remember those lessons and reject Trump’s call to divide and discriminate.”

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation's members are: Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice - AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, Advancing Justice - Atlanta, and Advancing Justice - Chicago.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

The National Immigration Law Center is exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. Our mission is grounded in the belief that every American—and aspiring American—should have the opportunity to fulfill their full potential regardless of where they were born or how much money they have. Using our deep expertise in a wide range of issues that affect low-income immigrants’ lives, we work with communities in courtrooms and legislatures to help advance policies that create a more just and equitable society for everyone.

The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign is organized by a coalition of national and local civil rights and Muslim advocacy groups who are leading efforts around the country to fight against President Trump’s latest unconstitutional Muslim Ban, as well as other discriminatory immigration policies that criminalize and negatively impact American Muslim communities and immigrants across the country.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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Protests erupt at airports nationwide over immigration action

Protesters gathered outside John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Saturday demanding the release of refugees blocked from entering the United States. Other protests took place nationwide.

People in the crowd at Kennedy airport chanted, “Let them in.” Celebrities including “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon joined the demonstration.  

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/protests-airports-immigration-action-president-trump/

 

Bill de Blasio and Sadiq Khan, London’s First Muslim Mayor, Tout Values at Forum

By Madina Toure • 09/18/16 8:06pm

Mayor Bill de Blasio listens as his London counterpart, Sadiq Khan, the city’s first Muslim mayor, speaks. (Photo: Madina Toure for Observer)

Global pals Mayor Bill de Blasio and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, that city’s first Muslim mayor, discussed their vision for inclusive, progressive cities and doubled down again at anti-immigrant rhetoric in the presidential race.

The forum—titled “Building Inclusive and Progressive Cities” and held at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City—was moderated by Dalia Fahmy, assistant professor of political science at LIU Brooklyn. The forum was hosted the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.

The two mayors—who have known each other since 2014—shared what they have done and plan to do to make their cities more inclusive and progressive, discussed recent hate crimes against Muslims in their cities and throughout the country and weighed in on the current presidential race.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks during a forum in Long Island City. (Photo: Madina Toure for Observer)

Khan said he was especially impressed by de Blasio’s “Tale of Two Cities” campaign message, saying de Blasio “managed to articulate a mood and a feeling that New York has felt and I feel that London has felt and still feels.”

He said that it is important to note that “we have multiple layers of identity”: he says he is proud of his British, European, Asian, Muslim and Pakistani identities.

“When you become a successful politician, whether it’s a mayor, a member of parliament or a president—it’s really important to be inclusive,” Khan said. “During my campaign, we had a strap line which I genuinely believe in, which is a mayor for all Londoners. I will say this with humility but to be frank: I’m not a Muslim mayor, I am a mayor of Islamic faith.”

De Blasio touted his 10-year affordable housing plan and his universal pre-kindergarten initiative as signs that he has addressed the “Tale of Two Cities” dilemma. He said that creating affordable housing on a massive scale gets “at the heart of the number one expense in people’s lives” and that universal pre-K provides “educational opportunities across the board.”

“I think what you (Khan) did in your campaign was we said, ‘It’s time to say this out loud and address it,'” de Blasio said. “The good news is you can, you actually can address it.”

And though neither mayor directly named—and said they wouldn’t—Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, it was clear where the two mayors stood on the upcoming election in November. 

Khan said his opponent was creating the impression that London “wasn’t ready to elect a politician of Islamic faith” and that some of the “worst sorts of Islamophobia you’ve ever seen were commented on during the campaign.”

He said his approach was to “energize, infuse and excite people” to join his campaign, giving people a choice of “hope over fear, unity over division”—something he believes will play out similarly in the upcoming presidential election. 

“And I’m optimistic over the next few weeks and months, I shouldn’t really get involved in the American election,” he said, to roaring laughter. “And I hope the best candidate wins and I’m sure she will,” he said, namelessly referring to Clinton as both de Blasio and the crowd laughed and applauded.

“That was very subtle,” de Blasio said in response.

Mayor Bill de Blasio listens during a forum alongside London Mayor Sadiq Khan. (Photo: Madina Toure for Observer)

De Blasio, for his part, said that “people who are different” have been subject to “decades and decades” of mistreatment that increased particularly since the September 11, 2001 attacks that brought on a “rampant Islamophobia.”

But he said this has also been met by “crazy national attempts by some to indict immigrants,” noting that that might work in Iceland—though he said that would still be “morally wrong”—but that the United States “was based on immigration from its earliest moments and never stopped being based on immigration.”

“Half the people who are attacking ‘immigrants’ had immigrant grandparents or immigrant great-grandparents,” de Blasio said. “This is backward.”

On the subject of the explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood Saturday night that injured 29 people, the mayor noted that it was Police Commissioner James O’Neill’s first full day as the city’s top cop and praised New Yorkers for not giving into fears stoked by terrorism. Khan, for his part, said London “stands with New Yorkers” and said he was impressed by the mayor’s response—addressing people’s concerns instead of playing on fears.

The pair drew laughs several times throughout the forum, with Khan saying more than once that New York City is the “second best city in the world.” De Blasio also referred to him as his “good friend.” 

The pair frequently praised one another, with de Blasio smiling and listening intently and proudly as Khan spoke. When the two were asked about how they help minority women succeed, de Blasio also praised Khan’s “mum” for raising him well and said that his wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray, puts pressure on him to address women’s issues. 

Indeed, the two mayors have already struck up a friendship that goes back to 2014 when they first met at a Labor Party Conference in Manchester, England, according to de Blasio when he publicly congratulated him in May. 

And like de Blasio, Khan has not been shy about his disdain for Trump. In an interview with TIME Magazine in May, he praised de Blasio for “doing interesting housing stuff in New York,” he said he would be interested in meeting and engaging with American mayors—but that a Trump presidency may stop someone like him from entering the United States. (In response, Trump actually told the New York Times that Khan could be an exception to the ban.)

Also spotted at the forum were City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Queens Councilman I. Daneek Miller—the Council’s only Muslim member—and Assemblyman David Weprin. 

Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.