Muslim and Immigrants’ Rights Groups Celebrate As President Biden Rescinds the Muslim and African Bans on Day One of His Presidency

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January 20, 2021

Muslim and Immigrants’ Rights Groups Celebrate As President Biden Rescinds the Muslim and African Bans on Day One of His Presidency

WASHINGTON, DC — Muslim, African, and other immigrant communities around the country are celebrating President Biden’s rescission of the Muslim and African Bans today. He first pledged to rescind the bans on day one of his presidency at the Million Muslim Votes Summit last summer.

Members of No Muslim Ban Ever, the largest national grassroots coalition focused on rescinding the bans, took a moment to celebrate today’s culmination of a hard-fought four-year campaign that began as protests at US airports when former President Trump signed the first executive order in Jan. 2017. Since then, the bans have upended the lives of tens of thousands of individuals by tearing apart families, blocking access to life-saving medical care, and preventing refugees from seeking safety.

In response to the rescission, anchor organizations of the No Muslim Ban Ever coalition issued the following statements:

Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center:

“On the day the first Muslim Ban was issued, NILC was on the ground working with affected individuals. As thousands of people flocked to airports to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their Muslim neighbors, we successfully filed the first lawsuit to challenge and block its implementation that same weekend, which was the first of many of our legal victories over the last four years. Now, President Biden, in keeping with his campaign promise, has rescinded the Muslim Ban and, in doing so, has helped our nation take an important step in reclaiming our role as a beacon of hope for all seeking a better life.”

Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations-San Francisco Bay Area:

“Today we correct the course of so many disrupted lives, in the U.S. and across the world. Tens of thousands of impacted individuals will now have the chance to be with their families during cherished and challenging times. For millions more, the message that Islamophobic immigration policies will not be tolerated will resonate deeply. While we know our work is far from over, today we celebrate the heroic efforts undertaken by so many over the last several years in our effort to repeal the Muslim and African Bans.”

Aarti Kohli, Executive Director representing Asian Americans Advancing Justice: 

“Today not only represents a victory for our communities and all who stood with us against the cruelty of the Trump administration, but it also moves us one step closer to dismantling white supremacy. Four years ago, we saw people of all races and religions come together to advocate against the Bans, which have separated families and upended lives. As we celebrate the result of hard-fought advocacy, we will continue to pressure the Biden administration to take bold action, repair the damage of the last four years and bring justice to our immigrant communities.”

Linda Sarsour, Co-Founder and Executive Director, MPower Change: 

“It was the collective work of Muslims and our allies that led President Biden to commit to repealing the Muslim Ban. While we welcome this critical move, we know it’s not enough. We don’t want to just go back to four years ago—we want to ensure true transformative change for all immigrant communities through immediate actions like a deportation moratorium and freeing our people from ICE prisons.”

Subha Varadarajan, Legal & Outreach Fellow, No Muslim Ban Ever coalition:

“Every impacted individual who spoke out, every community member who went to a protest or wrote to their member of Congress — they made this happen. Now we look ahead to the future, to passing the NO BAN Act in Congress so no president can enact a hateful ban like this again, and to ensuring that the rescission of the Muslim and African Bans is implemented in a clear, fair, and efficient manner.”

Tomorrow night, Jan. 21, No Muslim Ban Ever and the American Civil Liberties Union will host a virtual gathering at 8 PM ET to both celebrate this hard-won victory and discuss what comes next for Muslim communities following the rescission of the Bans. Featured speakers include coalition members Linda Sarsour, Co-Founder and Executive Director of MPower Change; Manar Waheed, Senior Legislative Advocacy Counsel for the ACLU; and individuals who have been directly impacted by the bans. To register for this event, email yasminhamidi@gmail.com.

For interviews with No Muslim Ban Ever coalition members or individuals who have been directly impacted by the Muslim and African Bans, contact yasminhamidi@gmail.com.

 

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About No Muslim Ban Ever 

The No Muslim Ban Ever coalition is led by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Council of American-Islamic Relations-San Francisco Bay Area, MPower Change, and the National Immigration Law Center. It includes more than 100 leading civil and human rights organizations. For the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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