A prominent Metro Detroit politician, Iraqi Christian group applaud the order, saying extreme vetting is a necessary protection.
By Beth Dalbey (Patch Staff)
Trump’s New Immigration Order Violates Constitution: Civil Rights Groups
Groups that previously challenged President Trump’s executive order on immigration have vowed to amend their pending lawsuits in federal court, saying the new order announced Monday continues to discriminate against individuals from Muslim-majority countries on the basis of their religion.
The president’s new immigration order removes Iraq from the list of targeted countries, imposes a 90-day on citizens from six countries — Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — and pauses all refugee admissions for 120 days. It also directs Homeland Security and the Justice Department to release public data on crimes committed in the U.S. by citizens of other countries, including “information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called ‘honor killings,’ in the United States by foreign nationals.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Dearborn-based Arab American Civil Rights League said in a joint statement that Trump’s revised order “still discriminatorily prohibits the travel of some immigrants from designated Muslim-majority countries and halts the refugee resettlement program temporarily.”
The president’s new order includes a defense of the first executive order, which many criticized as a “Muslim ban,” which Trump had campaigned on. The text says the first ban “did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion.”
The new order, the Michigan ACLU and ACRL said the new order was “a transparent attempt to continue the same policies that were already rejected by the courts as unconstitutional.”
“Nobody’s fooled by this revised order —it is still an illegal and discriminatory attempt to ban Muslims,” ACRL director Rula Aoun said in the statement. “In America, we don’t target and prohibit people because of how they pray — and we don’t impose religious litmus tests on immigrants. In working with the ACLU to resist this illegal ban, we’re fighting not just for the rights of Muslims and immigrants — but for the values we all share as Americans.”
Kary Moss, the executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, sid the courts understood Trump’s first order was “a direct attack on the fundamental principle of freedom of religion.”
“Despite its cosmetic revisions, this new order is still a Muslim ban — and it is unconstitutional,” Moss said in the statement. “Further, by halting refugee resettlement, this ban also callously betrays America’s long history as a safe haven for those fleeing oppression and seeking freedom.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat who represents Dearborn, where about 40 percent of residents are Arab Americans and which has the largest concentration of Arab Americans of any city in the United States, said she hears daily from constituents who are “scared to death about what will happen next.”
“Families who have been part of our communities for decades and are second- and third-generation Americans are terrified that someone will knock on their door in the middle of the night and force them from this country,” Dingell said in a statement.
Patch Morning Briefing: Women’s Strike; Health Care Coverage; More Wikileaks
Plus: A $300,000 parking spot, Casey Anthony speaks and more.
“National security experts, faith leaders, academia and the business community all agree that this ban endangers our national security and dishonors our Constitution and everything our nation stands for,” Dingell said. “This is not the America I was raised to believe in.”
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a Republican, told The Detroit News that he applauds Trump’s persistence on immigration issues. He called the order “a massive improvement over the first one,” and said that though it is sure “to be attacked … by the left,” he thinks it will pass constitutional muster.
Patterson in the past has been critical of refugee resettlement programs and threatened last year threatened to sue the State Department over its refugee resettlement programs. Michigan takes in more Syrian refugees than any other U.S. state, and Oakland County leads the state in resettlement efforts, according to the State Department. From May 2011 to Tuesday, more than 13,785 Syrian refugees have resettled in the United States.
Joseph Kassab, the founder and CEO of West Bloomfield-based Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute, told the Detroit Free Press that removing Iraq from the list of targeted countries is “welcoming news, especially for those from the minority communities in Iraq who are not terrorists.”
“They are victims of terrorists,” Kassab said.
He said that though there are “good people” from the six countries targeted in the order, “extreme vetting is very important because we don’t know who is disguising the refugees and who is not.”
“I think it is wise for everybody to be vetted,” Kassab said. “If he’s a good person, it doesn’t matter where he is coming from as long as he passes extreme vetting.”
— Cody Fenwick (Patch National Staff) contributed to this report.
Photo by Hussein M. Dabajeh ?used with permission: After President Trump announced his initial executive order limiting travel of immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, protesters swarmed the Detroit Metro Airport.