Pictures, Video: On Anniversary of Trump’s Muslim Ban, Impacted Individuals and Advocates Deliver Petitions with Over 150,000 Signatures to Congress

WASHINGTON, DC —Today, one year after the Supreme Court allowed ‘Muslim Ban 3.0’ to go into effect, individuals impacted by Trump’s policy were joined by organizations including The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the ACLU, NILC, CAIR National, SAALT, Advancing Justice | AAJC, MPower Change, CWS Global, and Franciscan Action Network to deliver petitions signed by more than 150,000 individuals and endorsed by more than 27 organizations. The petitions, delivered to the offices of Representatives Judy Chu, Senator Murphy, Senator Van Hollen, and Senator Hirono, urge the next Congress to take immediate action to rescind the ban.

WATCH VIDEO OF THE DELIVERY HERE: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWeDream

VIEW PHOTOS OF THE DELIVERY HERE: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1aBP0NmhqDFBX2YEsMXezd0e_qBZW7aUx?usp=sharing  

Click the link to view the petitions from Change.org, MPower Change, MoveOn, DailyKos and ACLU.

Avideh Moussavian, Legislative Director, National Immigration Law Center: “A year after the Supreme Court devastated communities across the globe by allowing a permanent version of Trump’s Muslim Ban to go forward, we are committed to repealing it and to preventing future bans like it. We’ve already seen the Trump administration abuse its authority to impose yet another ban, this time on asylum seekers. As we prepare for a new Congress, we demand that it hold this administration accountable for the Muslim ban as well as other policies — like killing DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), trying to impose a wealth test on immigrant families applying for green cards  and more — which are rooted in xenophobia and a larger white supremacist agenda of exclusion.”

Jamal Abdi, President, National Iranian American Council: “Over the last year the Muslim Ban has torn apart families, separated spouses, and extinguished dreams as President Trump’s allies in Congress stayed silent. Now, with a new Congress entering office, we can finally place a check on this presidency, beginning with repealing this unjust, un-American ban on our families.”

Manar Waheed, Senior Legislative and Advocacy Counsel, ACLU: “Today marks the dark anniversary of the day that America betrayed its constitution, laws, and values and began to categorically ban Muslims. For one full year now, Muslims have been banned from coming to America—whether to attend weddings and graduations, mourn the loss of loved ones, or seek life-saving health care treatment. As with other horrific moments in our past, like the incarceration of Japanese people in internment camps or racial segregation under the notion of separate but equal, we will fight for as long as it takes until justice is achieved. History will not forget this day nor will the people of our country. “

Lakshmi Sridaran, Director of National Policy and Advocacy, SAALT: “One year ago today, our nation’s Supreme Court allowed the Muslim Ban to go into full effect, separating families and fanning the flames of violence against our communities. The new Congress must exercise leadership and ensure the Muslim Ban is rescinded by passing legislation immediately. Congress has the authority to halt this unconstitutional policy that has been in effect far too long. While legislation was introduced last year in both the House and Senate, it has been neglected. Congress can no longer allow state sanctioned hate to continue and we demand they act swiftly. South Asian Americans nationwide continue to believe that all immigrants have a place here regardless of their religion or where they were born.”

Mohammad Khan, Campaign Director, MPower Change: “The Muslim Ban was the first official policy of the Trump administration intended to keep Black and brown people out of the U.S. Since then, Congress has largely stood back and allowed the White House to plow forward with its white nationalist agenda. Only a few brave members of Congress have stood with the majority of their constituents, who oppose discriminatory policies like the Muslim Ban. With a new Congress being sworn in this coming January, it’s crucial for our representatives to take a stand and repeal the Muslim Ban—both to provide relief for the millions being impacted and to rebuke Trump’s bigoted agenda. ”

Nihad Awad, Executive Director, CAIR National: “The Muslim travel ban violates the very principles and values upon which our nation was founded, and Congress must do what the Supreme Court could not; repeal this ban once and for all. The Muslim ban denies the very humanity of those seeking to travel to or seek refuge in the United States. As a nation, we must not waste any more valuable time and immediately act to reintroduce and pass Muslim ban repeal legislation.”

The Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, Church World Service: “The Muslim travel ban has torn families apart for two years now, while allowing President Trump to implement his cruel anti-family, anti-refugee, anti-immigrant agenda. We urge Congress to right this wrong by eliminating this policy once and for all.”

Patrick Carolan, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network: “The principle of freedom of religion is a tradition and ideal that formed the foundation of our country. The Muslim ban goes against everything that we stand for as Franciscan Catholic Christians, and against what Jesus and Francis of Assisi taught and lived. It is morally wrong to single out one group of people based on their faith. We are weaker as a country when we let fear and lack of understanding come between us. During the 5th Crusades, St. Francis of Assisi encouraged encountering ‘the other’ by meeting with the Sultan of Egypt and calling for peace and understanding. Pope Francis used this as an example in our own time by visiting the refugee island of Lampedusa and bringing Syrian refugees to stay with him at the Vatican. We must follow their example and welcome the stranger.”

Elica Vafaie, Staff Attorney, Asian Americans Advancing Justice: “We’ve seen the devastating impact on countless families of U.S. citizens, green card-holders, students, and those with urgent medical needs since the Muslim Ban has been in effect. Although the government has said that a waiver for those families is possible, in reality the government is achieving its goal of banning Muslims. We need to restore dignity and stop this unlawful ban.”

For more information, or for interview with a NIAC spokesperson, please contact Yasmina Dardari at (407) 922-8149 or by email at yasmina@unbendablemedia.com.

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NIAC Action Welcomes Historic Iran Nuclear Deal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: jamal@niacaction.org

NIAC Action’s Executive Director, Jamal Abdi, sent the following statement to Congress urging support for the comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran:

The comprehensive nuclear deal that has been secured by the United States, Iran and UN powers is a historic achievement. Diplomacy has made the U.S. and our allies safer by cutting off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and averting a disastrous war. Additionally, a separate roadmap was announced between the IAEA and Iran to resolve outstanding questions regarding past possible military dimensions (PMD) by December 2015.
 
While we continue to review the agreement, our initial assessment is that the final deal is indeed in line with the April framework agreement struck in Lausanne, which exceeded expectations and received significant Congressional support:
 
  • Iran moves down to 5,060 first generation centrifuges for ten years. It currently has over 19,000 installed.
  • No accumulating enriched uranium through advanced centrifuges for 10 years. Afterwards, Iran will phase out its first generation centrifuges.
  • All enrichment will be at the Natanz facility for fifteen years.
  • Enrichment capped at 3.67% for fifteen years.
  • Fordow will be converted into a research facility, and no centrifuges will accumulate enriched uranium.
  • Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile will be reduced by roughly 97%, from 10,000 kg to 300 kg for a full fifteen years.
  • Iran will redesign and rebuild the Arak heavy water reactor so that it does not produce weapons grade plutonium, and Iran will ship spent fuel out of the country and forego reprocessing. This will shut down the plutonium route.
  • Iran implements the Additional Protocol and moves to ratify it, locking it (and intrusive inspections, including at suspicious sites) in place indefinitely.
  • Iran and the IAEA move to a speedy resolution of the investigation into prior, possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Iran permits intrusive monitoring throughout Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain for decades. 
Members of Congress who have backed U.S. negotiators and blocked efforts to undermine these negotiations deserve tremendous credit for preserving the political space necessary to strike a deal. However, there is still more work to do.
  
The forthcoming Congressional review period will be a minimum of sixty days and begins as soon as the agreement and its annexes, as well as a verification assessment and certifications, are submitted to Congress. The Congressional review, and potential vote on a deal, is a decision between peace and war. It will determine whether the U.S. peacefully achieves its goal of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, or burns important bridges with some of its closest allies and rejects the diplomatic option. 
 
It is imperative that Congress undertake a substantive review, factoring in the significant benefits of a deal and the likely costs of voting down an accord negotiated by the permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and Iran. If an agreement fails due to Congressional action, Iran’s nuclear program would be unshackled, IAEA monitoring over the program would diminish, and international support for the sanctions regime would crumble. With diminished leverage and an advancing, unconstrained Iranian nuclear program, the U.S. and Iran would be on a path to war.
  
NIAC Action, the new 501c(4) organization to the National Iranian American Council, will be organizing across the country with other organizations supportive of a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis to ensure that Congress votes for peace in the weeks ahead. We look forward to providing Congress with tools it needs to make the right decision on this deal, and to ensure lawmakers hear from their constituents who are among the overwhelming numbers of Americans who support a deal and do not want a war. We will be in touch to help ensure that the U.S. and Iran make the most of this vital opportunity.
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