Within days after being sworn into office, the president signed two hateful executive orders to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and punish sanctuary cities, but he saved his most damaging immigration-related action for the end of the week. The Jan. 27, 2017 executive order suspends the U.S. refugee admissions program for 120 days, indefinitely halts the admission of Syrian refugees, and bans immigrant and nonimmigrant entries, for at least 90 days, for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) deplores this discriminatory executive order, which imposes “extreme vetting” measures and, in effect, constitutes a Muslim ban that would cause to harm to refugees and immigrants seeking entry into the United States and their families.
Margaret Fung, AALDEF Executive Director, said: “Hatred, bigotry, and racism have no place in a democratic society. We are prepared to use the courts to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees, particularly those who are being targeted because of their nationality and discriminated against under a newly-created religious test.”
AALDEF’s team of staff attorneys is closely monitoring these actions and their impacts on Asian immigrants and their families. Already, there have been media reports this weekend that the administration’s most recent executive order has created crises at U.S. international airports, where refugees who were in transit at the time of its announcement are being detained by Customs and Border Protection inspectors and are at risk of being returned to the countries they were fleeing. As the fallout continues, AALDEF will offer its legal expertise to community groups fighting against these anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim actions, and will join its allies to make sure that these unconscionable and unconstitutional orders do not stand.
For more information, contact:
Annie Wang, Staff Attorney
Ken Kimerling, Legal Director
212.966.5932, x203 firstname.lastname@example.org