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South Asian lawyers group condemn Donald Trump's order on Muslim ban, will challenge it in court

Washington: Top South Asian lawyers' bodies have condemned US President Donald Trump's executive order to stop refugees entering America and halt immigration process from Muslim-majority countries.

File photo of US President Donald Trump. AFP

File photo of US President Donald Trump. AFP

"These orders, which are based on the misguided idea that certain ethnic populations are more prone to violence, are  incompatible with American values, and will not make our communities safer or our nation stronger,”" South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) said in a joint statement.

It said the order halts refugee admissions from all countries for at least 120 days, indefinitely halts the admission of Syrian refugees, and lowers the number of refugee admissions to the United States.

It also grants states and localities the ability to stop refugees from settling in their jurisdiction, and suspends all entry of individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries. "Criminalising and stigmatising a group of people simply for their religious beliefs, what they look like
and where they come from, violates the American spirit of equality, fairness and innocence until proven guilty," said SABA president Vichal Kumar.

"The carve out in the executive actions for religious minorities challenges any assertion that these orders do not directly target Muslims," he said. "An outright ban of an entire group is an overbroad and unjustified response to a threat that is based solely on conjecture and unsupported by facts. These actions will leave a legacy of creating deeper mistrust of our communities," he added.

"We must recognise the humanitarian needs of refugee populations and we must refuse to act based on fear and intolerance," said NAPABA president Cyndie Chang. "Policies that discriminate against members of the Muslim community go against our values as Americans. President Trump's anti-immigrant executive orders open the door to a defacto 'Muslim ban,' and roll back efforts to create safe and
supportive communities," Chang said. "As Asian Pacific Americans who are first, second, or third generation immigrants - which includes refugees, undocumented, and Muslims - we know all too well the harm these types of restrictive policies may cause," he said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has announced they will file a federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 20 individuals challenging the "Muslim ban" executive order signed by Trump. The lawsuit, will challenge the constitutionality of the order because its apparent purpose and underlying motive is to ban people of the Islamic faith from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, a media release said.

"There is no evidence that refugees – the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation – are a threat to national security," said CAIR national litigation director Lena F Masri.

"The courts must do what President Trump will not—ensure that our government refrains from segregating people based on their faith," said Attorney Gadeir Abbas, who is co-counsel on the lawsuit.


Updated Date: Jan 28, 2017 09:59 AM

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