From the Civil Rights Desk

As’ Salaamu Alaikum,

My name is Ammad Rafiqi, and I recently joined the CAIR San Francisco Bay Area office as the Civil Rights and Legal Services Coordinator. I have had the chance to meet some of you at our Annual Banquet in December and various community events.

These past two months, since I joined CAIR-SFBA, culminated in the end of a tumultuous year for civil rights in America and the renewal of our commitment to advance and protect the civil rights and liberties of Muslim Americans as one of the nation’s most targeted groups. While the Trump administration continues to attempt to demolish constitutional guarantees of equal protection, the Legal Services team at CAIR-SFBA has been busy providing legal advice and representation to community members.

While we celebrated a win in our Muslim Ban litigation in the 4th Circuit last week, the Muslim Ban is very much still in effect. This may be the case until at least June, when the Supreme Court is expected to decide on the matter, after hearing arguments in April.

Here is a look into some of the recent Muslim Ban complaints we received:

  • A U.S. green card holder had her Iranian national mother’s visitor visa denied at a U.S. Embassy. They had waited over a year in administrative processing. The Iranian national who was banned will be missing her grandchild’s birth and the graduation of her daughter from a prestigious dentistry school, both incredibly important milestones.
  • The Yemeni national daughter of U.S. citizen parents is stranded in Malaysia with her husband and four minor children after their immigrant visa was refused. The family of is afraid to return to their home in Yemen, which is surrounded by Houthi rebels. While in Yemen, the family often lacked access to clean water and affordable healthcare; was subject to cholera epidemics, and no real prospects for the education of the children.

CAIR-SFBA is advocating for these and other families. If you or a loved one is impacted by the Muslim Ban, we want to hear from you. Please reach out to us for legal advice using this incident report form.


Ammad Rafiqi, Esq.
Civil Rights & Legal Services Coordinator