In one of his first moves in office President Joe Biden has reversed the “Muslim travel ban” – the immigration restrictions put in place by the Trump administration covering the Muslim nations of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Jake Sullivan, who will be Biden’s National Security Advisor, said the ban “was nothing less than a stain on our nation. It was rooted in xenophobia and religious animus.”
Biden had promised to make the move in July during an online summit of Muslim voters, during which he pledged that “I will end the Muslim Ban on day one.”
First authorised in January 2017 for “national security reasons,” the travel ban ripped families apart, deprived students of educational opportunities, blocked the sick from receiving treatment, meant that talented workers lost out on jobs, and trapped refugees in dangerous conditions.
Following the announcement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) welcomed Biden’s decision but said that the new administration is now responsible for determining how to address the damage already done by the Muslim ban.
CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: “We commend President Biden for immediately moving to repeal the Muslim and African Bans, which is an important first step toward undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration. It is an important fulfilment of a campaign pledge to the Muslim community and its allies.
“We expect the Biden administration to go further by supporting passage of the No Ban Act and addressing systemic injustices within the federal government that led to religious and racial profiling of Muslims and immigrants under multiple administrations.
“CAIR also welcomes the Biden Administration’s move to preserve and fortify protections for Dreamers; inclusion of all persons – including the undocumented – in the U.S. census count; ordering the removal of barriers preventing minorities and underserved communities’ access to federal programs and institutions; and other impactful executive orders.
“Finally, the American Muslim community urges President Biden to fulfill his campaign pledge to appoint Muslims at every level of government.”
Having terminated the Muslim Ban, CAIR is now calling on the Bidden administration to carry out civil rights reforms including ending national security overreach, discriminatory immigration policies, racism in policing, supporting faith-based initiatives, including more Muslims in government, and supporting a progressive foreign policy.