One day after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days, there were large protests on Saturday at a host of United States airports, including Sea-Tac.
On Sunday, more throngs of protesters gathered at major U.S. cities — at least seven, including Westlake Park in Seattle.
Following the detainment of two men at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, the American Civil Liberties Union brought about a lawsuit on Saturday, and a federal judge in Brooklyn issued an emergency stay against Trump’s order to temporarily block any deportations.
“American Muslims deserve the same opportunities as all Americans – to build better futures for our families and children. American Muslims share the same American values and freedoms that we all cherish, knowing that we are all in this together,” Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-WA told the Reporter.
“All around our country we are witnessing the unjust detention or deportation of legal immigrants and refugees coming to unite with their loved ones, return to their homes/businesses/studies, contribute to the economy of our country, and/or escape persecution and start a new life in a free United States of America,” said Mahmood Khadeer, president of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) in Redmond, in a statement.
MAPS consists of members from more than 50 countries around the world, including those from countries affected by Trump’s executive orders, and Khadeer said many of them are concerned about how the order may affect them and their families.
Khadeer urged his community to remain steadfast in their faith, follow Quranic commandments of justice and getting to know each other and unite on their shared American values of religious freedom, equality and justice for all.
“In light of the executive orders and travel ban, we strongly advise anyone who is considering travel outside the country (even to Canada or Mexico) to review the travel caution and important information posted by CAIR here,” Khadeer said.
He advises non-U.S. citizens to speak with an attorney or immigration advocate and verify the conditions to travel outside of the U.S.
“Ensure you take all precautions necessary and avoid travel if you can for at least the next 90 days, especially if you are from one of the following seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen,” he said.
Bukhari noted that more than 10,000 American Muslims serve in the U.S.’s armed forces, and many have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, including U.S. Army Specialist Kareem Khan, U.S. Army Major James Ahearn, U.S. Army Specialist Rasheed Sahib and U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan. He added that there are about 50,000 American Muslim medical doctors across the nation saving lives every day.
Microsoft President Brad Smith noted in an email to his employees on Saturday that the company is aware of 76 Microsoft employees who are citizens of the countries named in the order, possess U.S. visas and are affected by the order. Microsoft’s goal is provide the employees with legal advice and assistance, he wrote in the email, which Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella published on LinkedIn.
Smith continued: “As a company, Microsoft believes in a strong and balanced high-skilled immigration system. We also believe in broader immigration opportunities, like the protections for talented and law-abiding young people under the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, often called ‘Dreamers.’ We believe that immigration laws can and should protect the public without sacrificing people’s freedom of expression or religion. And we believe in the importance of protecting legitimate and law-abiding refugees whose very lives may be at stake in immigration proceedings.”
Nadella added in the LinkedIn post: “As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world. We will continue to advocate on this important topic.”
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal via Bloomberg, today Trump may sign an executive order to overhaul the federal program that helps Microsoft, Amazon and many Puget Sound-area technology companies bring in highly skilled foreign workers on H-1B visas when they can’t fill jobs locally. Other visa programs, including the L-1 transfer visas, could be affected as well.
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) said in a statement: “We don’t need to close our doors to keep Americans safe and we still have work ahead to ensure the President ends his cruel targeting of individuals based on religion and nationality.”
Added Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) in a statement: “We have won a temporary victory, halting the unconstitutional deportations of two people and keeping them from being sent away. Now, we must keep fighting.” She called Trump’s order “inhumane.”
DelBene and Jayapal filed a joint brief in the case expressing alarm at the lack of transparency from Customs and Border Protection regarding Trump’s order during DelBene’s visit to Sea-Tac Airport on Saturday.
DelBene joined colleagues on Monday in introducing the SOLVE (Statue of Liberty Values Act) to revoke Trump’s executive order. The act, introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), states that Trump’s order will have no effect or force of law and would prohibit any funds or fees from being used to implement the order.
“President Trump’s irresponsible executive order has created chaos and fear across the world. This is what happens when the President and his administration issue a reckless order late at night with no thought to the implementation or consideration of the impact on individuals and families,” DelBene said. “I cosponsored the SOLVE Act to ensure we rescind the President’s executive order, which is nothing more than cruel targeting of individuals based on religion and nationality.”
Bukhari said that when candidates or commentators discuss Islam or Muslims they should consider how their words can effect the millions of American Muslim children in the U.S.
“Anti-Muslim hate speech, including executive orders targeting American Muslims, are not only dangerous in the hate crimes that it inspires against these children and their parents. It is also dangerous because it sends a dangerous message to millions of American Muslim kids. It can shatter their hopes for a better future, of a life fulfilled. The American Dream,” Bukhari said.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on Monday that he is filing a lawsuit in federal court against Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and high-ranking Trump administration officials. Ferguson’s complaint asks the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington to declare unconstitutional key provisions of President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.
Washington is filing the first suit of its kind in the nation.
Ferguson also filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order seeking an immediate halt to the executive order’s implementation.
“No one is above the law — not even the President,” Ferguson said. “And in the courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails. It’s the Constitution.”
Added Gov. Jay Inslee at today’s press conference: “Until Congress takes this administration to task for the obvious moral and legal injuries suffered by innocent, law-abiding people entering our country, it is up to states to protect and promote the rights of the people who reside in our borders.”
Microsoft executives have spoken with Ferguson and said the company is supportive of the attorney general’s lawsuit and are willing to testify in court, if necessary, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.
On Monday afternoon, CAIR announced at its Capitol Hill headquarters in Washington, D.C. that it is filing a federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 20 named and “john doe” individuals challenging the constitutionality of Trump’s order.
In its lawsuit, CAIR notes that the order’s “apparent purpose and underlying motive is to ban people of the Islamic faith in Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States,” in a press release.
Also on Monday, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (WA) and Patty Murray (WA) co-sponsored two bills by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Senator Chris Murphy (CT) to block Trump’s order.
The Feinstein bill would rescind the order, however, on the Senate floor on Monday, Senate Republicans objected to voting on the bill. All four sponsors of the bills are Democrats.
The Murphy bill would withhold any funding to enforce the executive order and makes clear the order is illegal based on the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which banned discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin.