Muslim Ban Ruling Reinforces Blanket Discrimination

LatinoJustice joins Muslim brothers and sisters around the country to reject this blanket discrimination of people based on national identity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26th, 2018

CONTACT: Christiaan Perez, cperez@latinojustice.org, 212-739-7581

New York, NY - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt another blow to civil and human rights in the United States. In upholding the Muslim Travel Ban, the Supreme Court has effectively sanctioned discrimination against a group of people based on national identity. In a 5-4 ruling on Trump v. Hawaii, the Court upheld this administration’s racist and xenophobic Muslim Ban. The Court declined to interrogate the President’s true motivations behind the ban which was espoused in countless public statements by administration staff and the President himself. Instead, the Court “limited [its] review to whether the Executive gave a ‘facially legitimate and bona fide’ reason for its action,” to bar certain people from entering this country.

The Court has shirked its responsibility to protect our nation against xenophobia and racism while also expanding the President’s power to act illegally in the name of national security. While we applaud that the Court expressly denounced Korematsu v U.S. (1944) and the internment of Japanese Americans in detention facilities during World War II, its reasoning in upholding the Muslim Travel Ban is eerily reminiscent of the underlying racism that led to such a dark time in our history. It has empowered President Trump to repackage his anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies under the guise of national security necessities. Today the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that it will allow our nation to criminalize of minority groups during times of war as long as the President can find a way to cloak his racism in facially neutral terms.

“The Muslim ban, separation of families on the border, and the rise of alt-right nationalism, all of this is the construct of President Trump’s xenophobic and racist agenda. The Supreme Court’s latest ruling enables him to continue blanket discrimination by banning Muslims and opens the door for new forms of discrimination. As we continue fighting for civil rights, we recognize how today’s ruling highlights the importance of intersectional organizing and litigation to resist this onslaught on our communities. It is because of this that we stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters against the Trump administration’s persecution of religious groups and criminalization immigrant children in the name of national security,” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

As Justice Sotomayor wrote in her dissenting opinion, today’s ruling has left “undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns. But this repackaging does little to cleanse Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 of the appearance of discrimination that the President’s words have created.” Justice Sotomayor goes on to quote our Amicus in her dissent citing one of the many ways the government has attempted to protect its racist agenda from view.

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LatinoJustice PRLDEF, originally established as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) in 1972, is one of the foremost national nonprofit civil rights legal defense and education funds working to advance, promote, and protect the legal rights of Latina/os throughout the nation. Our work is focused on addressing systemic discrimination and ensuring equal access to justice in the advancement of voting rights, housing rights, educational equity, immigrant rights, language access rights, employment rights, workplace justice, and the discriminatory effects of the criminal justice system, seeking to address all forms of discriminatory bias that adversely impact Latina/os.

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