Washington, D.C.: Earlier today, just days after the third anniversary of the Muslim Ban, the Trump Administration struck again by adding six more countries to this racist policy. Nationals of Myanmar, Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan and Eritrea will be banned from seeking immigrant visas and nationals of Sudan and Tanzania will be banned from the diversity visa lottery. While it is expected that Nigerians will be most impacted in number, it is also painful to see that Muslim refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar will be turned away by our nation just as Jewish refugees were decades ago during the Holocaust.
“One thing is clear, the Muslim Ban was this administration’s first family separation policy just days after the presidential inauguration in 2017, and it has served as the foundational policy for targeting communities of color ever since. Since then, we have seen attacks on DACA, TPS, diversity lottery, green cards, public benefits, refugees, asylum seekers, pregnant women, and more to institutionalize a white supremacist agenda,” said Lakshmi Sridaran, SAALT’s Interim Executive Director.
Since January of 2017, SAALT has documented an uptick in white supremacist hate violence aimed at Muslims and those racialized as Muslim, including 350 incidents of hate and 200 instances of xenophobic or Islamophobic rhetoric from media outlets and elected officials. SAALT’s 2018 report “Communities on Fire” found that Muslim women wearing hijab and individuals with darker skin color were more frequently the targets of the most violent acts of hate. This runs parallel to today’s expansion of the Muslim Ban targeting Muslim majority African nations.
Congress has the power to end all of this by passing the NO BAN Act. This legislation would immediately rescind the Muslim Ban and limit the executive branch’s authority to exercise such wide and unchecked discretion in issuing racist policies. Today’s expansion of the Muslim Ban underscores the need to pass a clean NO BAN Act with zero exceptions because even the smallest opening can unleash such widespread destruction.