Trump’s talk — ‘Muslim ban,’ ‘Islam hates us’ — comes back to bite him in court again

trump-immigrationGoing into the latest court battle over President Trump’s revised travel ban, government lawyers were well aware that the administration’s incendiary — many say bigoted — rhetoric about Muslims would be a liability.

Before the initial executive order was even issued, opponents had pulled together a list of public statements by Trump and his surrogates calling for a “Muslim ban” and blaming Islam for the nation’s problems. The states that challenged the order in court did the same, saying the remarks were evidence that the administration intended to discriminate against Muslims.

In response, the government’s lawyers asked a federal judge to, effectively, look the other way. Instead of focusing on Trump’s past remarks, they argued, the judge should only consider the plain language of the revised order in deciding whether it violated the Constitution.

But in his blistering opinion Wednesday freezing the new travel ban, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson said statements by Trump and his senior advisers were precisely what called its legality into question.

“These plainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” Watson wrote.

FULL ARTICLE AND VIDEO FROM THE WASHINGTON POST 

Don’t Be Fooled, Trump’s New Muslim Ban Is Still Illegal

06khera-smithWeb-master768President Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries experienced nearly universal defeat in the federal courts. On Monday, he issued a revised version of that order, but it still suffers from a fundamental, and fatal, flaw: It constitutes unlawful religious discrimination.

On the surface, this revised order looks different from the first version. It explicitly exempts Iraq from the travel ban, thus reducing the number of affected countries to six, as well as lawful permanent residents (that is, green card holders) and people who have visas. It no longer categorically bars Syrian refugees or includes a religious test to determine which refugees may enter the country. And in a marked departure from the earlier order, it goes into effect in 10 days, so that the chaos that unfolded in airports around the world when the January order became effective presumably won’t happen again.

These changes are, no doubt, intended to address the due process concerns that led the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to affirm a lower-court ruling that put a hold on part of the original order. But while these changes are important, they do not fix the core problem with the executive order: The administration is waging an all-out assault on Islam and Muslims.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

Forum: US Muslims’ defense: The Constitution

The night before, Reuters had reported that President Donald Trump would soon sign an executive order blocking visas for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa. The move, an expression of the “Muslim ban” that Trump touted during his campaign, marooned Muslims legally working or studying in the United States and threatens to divide families who have relatives in their home countries.

Cochran is director of the Virginia chapter of Emerge USA, an organization founded in 2006 to help Muslims get involved in local politics across five states. It’s one of many organizations that American Muslims created in the aftermath of 9/11 to protect and advocate for their embattled community. That very morning, she was already set to travel to Richmond to meet with state lawmakers to communicate the concerns of Muslim Virginians.

If Trump keeps his campaign promises — and so far there’s every indication he will — the country may see a return to the excesses of the Bush era that saw American Muslims profiled, surveilled, harassed and marginalized. Trump’s administration is more openly anti-Muslim than any in history. Trump himself has stated that “Islam hates us”; his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has called Islamism a “vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people”; his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, once operated Breitbart, an alt-right news site known for anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Sixteen years ago, many American Muslims didn’t know where to turn for help. There was no Emerge USA for them to email. They had almost no political, social or cultural capital. Now they are far better prepared. That’s because American Muslims have learned to arm themselves, not with weapons but with the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. In the crucible of American society after 2001, Muslims have fully embraced the democratic ideals, expansive religious freedom and rich civil society that truly make America great.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW HAVEN REGISTER 

Cable News Sure Could Talk To More Muslims About The Muslim Ban

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The three major U.S. cable news channels rarely invited Muslim guests on air to talk about President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, a new report shows.

On Jan. 27, Trump signed an executive order that indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from coming to the U.S., shuts down the whole refugee program for 120 days and bars all immigrants and visitors from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen ― all Muslim-majority countries ― from entering the U.S.

From Jan. 30 through Feb. 3 ― while heartbreaking stories surfaced of border officials detaining and deporting people or stranding them at airports overseas ― CNN, Fox News and MSNBC invited just 12 Muslims as on-air guests during primetime hours, according to the report from the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters.

CNN hosted seven Muslim guests, MSNBC hosted two, and Fox News hosted five (all during a single episode of “The First 100 Days”). Two of the guests appeared on programs twice, meaning there were 14 total guest appearances by 12 Muslims.

Those 14 guest appearances represented a small fraction of the 176 guest appearances on the news networks from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on those five nights, when Trump’s Muslim ban dominated the national conversation.

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FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST 

‘Of course they’re worried’: Triangle faith groups react to Trump travel order, Canadian mosque attack

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In the face of President Donald Trump’s order that would shut down travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, and an attack last month on a mosque in Quebec, faith communities in the Triangle are working together to promote unity and peace.

Trump’s executive order Jan. 27 temporarily barred immigrants, refugees and some U.S. citizens from seven countries from traveling to the United States, sparking protests across the country – including at least two in the Triangle. A federal judge in Seattle stayed the order on Feb. 3, and three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday on whether to lift the stay.

But the on-again, off-again order, as well as anti-Muslim sentiment and the attack on the Canadian mosque, has some Triangle refugees and Muslims concerned. Members of other faith communities also are worried.

“As Jews, we are deeply concerned about the current actions on immigration,” said Carin Savel, chief executive officer of The Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary. “These statements severely restrict immigration and instill fear among existing immigrant populations.”

The Jewish Federation, a national organization, has received bomb threats against its branches across the country. The Raleigh-Cary center has not received a threat but is on alert.

“As always, safety is the top priority, and we are following security protocols to coordinate with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of all members and visitors to our JCC,” Savel said.

It’s a Muslim ban, and it’s unconstitutional

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Page Pate is a criminal defense and constitutional lawyer based in Atlanta. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Georgia, a founding member of the Georgia Innocence Project, a former board member of the Federal Defender Program in Atlanta, and the former chairman of the criminal law section of the Atlanta Bar Association. Follow him on Twitter @pagepate. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

(CNN)Before he was elected President, Donald Trump made it clear he wanted to keep Muslims from entering the United States. In fact, he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” a stance he slightly modified during the campaign.

Now that he is President, it looks like Trump is trying to accomplish the initial shutdown he called for on the campaign trail.

On January 27, Trump signed an executive order that significantly restricts the rights of people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. This order is a thinly veiled attempt to discriminate against Muslims. Because the policy reflected in this order targets a particular religious group, even though it doesn’t cover every country in which Muslims predominate, it is unconstitutional.

Page Pate

It has been called a “travel ban,” but the official title of the executive order signed by Trump is “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”
That sounds like a good thing, right? Keeping America safe is one of the most important priorities of our government. But the actual policy and practice behind this order is inconsistent with its stated purpose.
Several states, and many private individuals, have challenged the order on various grounds. Their arguments are different, but almost all of them involve the same core issues: Is this executive order an attempt to discriminate against Muslims? And, if it is, can this possibly be legal?