Statement on US Immigration Ban
On behalf of the Iraqi Transnational Collective (ITC), the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and Southwest Asian & North Afrikan - Los Angeles (SWANA-LA), we are deliberate in our steadfast opposition to the Trump administration’s executive order calling on a “Muslim Ban” and we are calling on our communities and allies to continue the actions and resistances currently taking place, not just today but until no human is deemed illegal or profiled.
As we write this statement, members of our own community languish in major United States (U.S.) airports threatened with deportation as a result of Donald Trump’s “Muslim Ban” executive order. This order implements a complete shutdown of all refugee resettlement in the U.S. and rejects immigration of SWANA communities from seven countries: Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Since the enactment of this order, lawyers, interpreters, and protesters have reported that this ban has extended beyond the seven countries listed and, according to Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Florida, American citizens who are religiously and racially profiled are being interrogated and targeted by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) via a secondary screening. This order also applies to immigrants who are green card holders or who have resided in the U.S. on visas including but not limited to student, work, and visitor visas. This also applies to members of our community who are dual citizens of other countries that are visa exempt countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.
This executive order, entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” is an overt policy that seeks to continue criminalizing members of our community and reflects the intersections of the devastating consequences of U.S. imperialism abroad, European-American nativist ideologies, the demonization of immigrants, and ongoing detrimental logics and policies towards people of color that have long informed the “War on Terror.” It is precisely these logics and policies that have created mass scale dispossession, refugee-hood, war, neo-imperialist authoritative regimes, and Zionist colonization and destabilization of our region, both politically and economically. It is also these same logics and policies that have upheld the long-standing system of settler-colonialism and white-supremacist racial warfare against Indigenous communities of Turtle Island, Black communities, and other people of color here in the U.S. throughout our history. This occurrence vividly reminds us of the racist and shameful Executive Order 9066 that led to the internment of peoples of Japanese descent and Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, in which the U.S. government said, “never again.”
As diasporic communities, our precarious racial position in the U.S. has long been ignored, misunderstood or completely fragmented from the consequences of the U.S. imperialist war machine’s operations and policies in our homelands. However, this moment reflects, more than ever, the transnational dimension of our struggle fighting for justice, freedom, and the rights of all displaced and refugee populations to return to their homelands, free of war and occupation, but also to acquire ethical, legal, and humanitarian services throughout resettlement journeys.
A country that has so relentlessly bombed, and otherwise made unstable, the Southwest Asian North Afrikan, and East Afrikan regions through militant attacks and surveillance, now slams the door on immigrant and refugee faces, ironically, using an inflamed rhetoric of implementing "anti-terrorism" measures.
We must confront and shut down narratives that scapegoat immigrants and refugees. Narratives that render refugees and immigrants as agents of “terrorism,” “criminality” or threats to U.S. economic stability all are part and parcel of the historic rhetoric that has led to monumental racial warfare and upholding systems and ideologies of heteropatriarchal white supremacy in this country and across the globe. This situation solely boils down to racist, Islamophobic xenophobia and fear mongering of a populist administration.
This policy "replaces" the already violent bureaucracy of intensive (sometimes decades-long) vetting processes and an abysmally low refugee admission rate in the U.S. immigration system. It repeats the U.S.' lengthy, exclusionary past regarding refugees fleeing violence at its borders.
We must and will continue to resist and show up to demonstrate our opposition towards the Trump administration – even amid legal victories, this administration leaves no guarantees of legal rights with passing days and will take the opportunity to do as it pleases. Nonetheless, these victories happened because of mass mobilizations and lawyers donating their time and skills - the overwhelming solidarity should not go unnoted.
We call on our communities to first and foremost protect one another. We advise those who do not have U.S. citizenship to not leave the U.S. If you know of someone who is being detained at a U.S. or international airport, with or without U.S. citizenship, please contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, and other legal agencies that can advise on what must be done. A #MuslimBan Resource Guide has been crafted with the help of members of Ajam Media Collective, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), Iraqi Transnational Collective (ITC), Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), Southwest Asian North Afrikan - Los Angeles (SWANA - LA), SWANA Rising for Collective Liberation (SRCL), and over a 100 volunteers in order to aid anyone who is/has been affected or who may be affected directly or indirectly.
Take the streets, airports and any other public spaces, continue organizing efforts to stand against all forms of injustices committed towards our siblings in humanity and across communities. Our long-term goal of liberation depends on joint-struggle. We must continue to organize hand-in-hand and recognize that we cannot abandon any cause that envisions freedom.
Rise up! Resist!
No human is illegal!
No ban on stolen land!
Demand freedom of movement and liberation for all!
Iraqi Transnational Collective (ITC)
Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM)
Southwest Asian & North Afrikan - Los Angeles (SWANA-LA)