(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/6/17) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is urging all Americans who value religious freedom and oppose all forms of discrimination to contact their state’s senators and ask that they support the Protect American Families Act, which would prohibit creation of immigration related registry programs that classify people based on religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality.
TAKE ACTION: CLICK HERE TO CONTACT YOUR SENATORS TODAY
CAIR is urging voters to thank the senators who are co-sponsoring the legislation.
Introduced by Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ), the Protect American Families Act is cosponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
The Protect American Families Act is a preventative measure against president-Elect Donald Trump’s pledge to establish a registry of Muslim travelers to America based on their religion and national origin.
“Religious freedom and freedom from discrimination are fundamental rights central to the very idea of being an American,” Sen. Booker said. “Forcing people to sign up for a registry based on their religion, race, or national origin does nothing to keep America secure. It does, however, undermine the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution and promote the false notion that people of certain faiths and nationalities are inherently suspect. Our legislation would block Donald Trump and subsequent administrations from infringing on religious liberty by creating an immigration-related religious registry. Throughout our history, the United States has been a beacon of hope for those seeking religious freedom, and has taken significant steps forward to advance civil and human rights. We must ensure this legacy lasts forever into the future.”
In December 2016, CAIR welcomed President Obama’s decision to permanently dismantle the regulatory framework behind the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS). NSEERS was introduced following the 9/11 terror attacks, but was suspended in 2011 after heavy criticism by civil rights organizations, including CAIR. NSEERS required certain non-citizen males over the age of 14 from 25 countries to be registered and fingerprinted. With the sole exception of North Korea, every one of the 25 countries on the NSEERS bulletin was Muslim or Arab.
President-elect Trump and his advisers close have stated publicly that they would revive and expand the federal registry that once targeted visitors mostly from Muslim-majority countries, which was phased out in 2011 for being "ineffective."
In November 2016, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus refused to rule out a “registry” for Muslims. That same month Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an advisor to the Trump transition team, was photographed with an outline of future DHS strategic priorities and goals, that included in part updating and reintroducing the NSEERS screening and tracking system to ensure “All aliens from high-risk areas are tacked” and to add “extreme vetting questions” to “question them regarding support for Sharia law, jihad, equality of men and women, the United States Constitution.”
CAIR believes that registering and tracking Muslim visitors to the United States is not only discriminatory but a tremendous waste of our nation’s national security resources and will offer a legal challenge to any attempt to resurrect or expand NSEERS to target Muslims residing in the United States. CAIR also opposes ideological tests of immigrants and travelers to the U.S. to ensure that potential immigrants support American values because American values include the right to hold unpopular or non-majority opinions.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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