Forward Together Statement on Travel Ban and Its Impact on Muslim Immigrant Families

On June 26, the Supreme Court decided to allow implementation of portions of Trump’s Muslim travel ban and agreed to review the case this fall. The Supreme Court gave exceptions to the ban for people with “bona fide relationship” in the United States. Today, the Trump Administration revealed its interpretation of “bona fide,” and it will impact thousands of families affected by the ban while also setting a dangerous precedent for our immigration system overall.

The Muslim ban is part of a larger agenda we’ve seen Trump use as a candidate and now as President to target Muslim and immigrant communities. The ban is reprehensible in its discrimination against Muslim immigrants. The Muslim Ban targets six countries but has a chilling effect on all Muslim communities inside and outside the US. Forward Together rejects this administration’s efforts to legalize discrimination against Muslims and treat Muslim immigrants and visitors to the US as criminals.

We already know what happens when the Trump administration promotes Islamophobia. This year through our Mamas Day campaign, we worked directly with grassroots groups to provide support and solidarity to immigrant and Muslim mamas. We heard many stories about members of mosques and community organizations feeling the impact of increased hateful rhetoric and actual violence in their communities–like Aneelah Afzali, whose mosque was vandalized twice in the month after the election.

In addition to legalizing discrimination through the Muslim ban, the Supreme Court’s ruling puts the task of defining family in the hands of the Trump administration thus continuing one of the most heart-wrenching practices of our immigration system – forcing families to choose which family members to sponsor based on a hierarchy of relationships determined by the State Department, not based on how their families actually work or who they want or need to bring to the US. While Trump’s new definition of family is currently limited to the Muslim ban, it is alarming to consider how this definition could create the framework for even more restricted definitions of family within our immigration system.

Forward Together calls on the Trump Administration to reject the travel ban and instead work with Congress to fix the broken immigration system that leaves too many families separated for years by borders and boundaries. We ask that any reforms to the immigration system reflect inclusive family definitions that support immigrants in building the families they need and want in the US.