The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today welcomed President Joe Biden’s announced termination — on his first day in office — of the previous administration’s discriminatory Muslim and African Bans.

Leaders from the organization released the following statements:

In a statement CAIR California CEO Hussam Ayloush said:

“Repealing the Muslim and African Ban is an important first step toward undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration.

“We will continue to advocate for the elimination of systemic injustices within the federal government that have resulted in the religious and racial profiling of Muslims and immigrants under past administrations. 

“We commend President Biden for immediately moving to fulfill his campaign pledge to the Muslim community and its allies to repeal the Ban.    

“CAIR-LA also welcomes the Biden Administration’s move to preserve and fortify protections for Dreamers; inclusion of all persons – including the undocumented – in the U.S. census count; ordering the removal of barriers preventing minorities and underserved communities’ access to federal programs and institutions; and other impactful executive orders.

Zahra Billooexecutive director of the San Francisco Bay Area office of CAIR, said: 

“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.” 

Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento Valley/Central California office of CAIR, said: 

 “Today, after a historic inauguration, we celebrate the end of the cruel Muslim and African Bans that tore countless families apart. We hope these families can heal from the devastating impacts of this policy. There is so much work to be done to right historical and more recent wrongs, but this is an important first step.” 

Omair Khan, Operations and Development Manager of the San Diego office of CAIR, said: 

With the repeal of the unconstitutional Muslim and African Ban, thousands of Americans can now breathe a sigh of relief; there is hope for families to reconnect with each other. We commend President Biden for keeping his promise to toss out this unjust ban on day one, and we look forward to seeing this administration continue to fix the structural barriers that plague our nation.” 

BACKGROUND: 

First authorized on January 27, 2017, the travel ban was amended several times to place varying levels of discriminatory travel restrictions on mostly Muslim and African citizens and government officials from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Because of the ban families have been ripped apart, students have been deprived of educational opportunities, the sick have been blocked from receiving treatment, talented workers have lost out on jobs, and refugees have been trapped in dangerous conditions. CAIR-LA urges the Biden administration to work with the impacted communities to determine how to holistically address the damage already done by the Muslim Ban and how to help those who were denied entry into the United States.

In December, CAIR publicly released its report, “Biden-Harris Administration – The First 100 Days – Restoring the Rights of American Muslims and Advancing Justice for all Americans.” Endorsed by the U.S. Council of Muslim Organization, these recommendations address the concerns of the American Muslim community in confronting racial and religious discrimination, ending unconstitutional federal law enforcement programs, and elevating issues important to our community and our neighbors.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.     

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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Deputy Executive Director, Masih Fouladi, 714-801-0349, mfouladi@cair.com; CAIR-SFBA Communications Coordinator Zoha Raza, 408.418.6902, zraza@cair.com; CAIR-SV/CC, Outreach and Youth Development Coordinator, Hasna El-Nounou, 408.881.3238, hel-nounou@cair.com;  CAIR-SD Operations and Development Manager Omair Khan, 619.880.4601, okhan@cair.com