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HIAS Statement on Muslim Ban Supreme Court Ruling
SILVER SPRING, Md.—Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the administration in Trump v. Hawaii, the case challenging the most recent iteration of the Trump Administration’s travel ban. The September 2017 executive order restricts the entry into the United States for nationals of a specific list of mostly Muslim-majority countries. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts stated that the Proclamation is “squarely within the scope of Presidential authority under the INA.”
While HIAS is not a party to this particular case, the organization joined an amicus brief filed by the parties of IRAP, HIAS, et al v. Trump, another lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s refugee and Muslim bans.
Commenting on the significance of the ruling, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield issued the following statement:
“The Muslim Ban is not simply an exercise in executive authority, it’s the Trump Administration’s official license to discriminate on the basis of religion and nationality. HIAS is disappointed in the Supreme Court’s affirmation of these policies of religious discrimination, fear and tribalism, which have permeated nearly every aspect of America’s tradition of welcome. From the crackdown on people legally seeking asylum to the dramatic diminishment of the life-saving refugee resettlement program, the Trump Administration has been an unrelenting 17 month assault against America’s values as a nation welcoming of immigrants and refugees.
“As one of the first organizations to challenge the refugee and Muslim bans in court last year, HIAS will continue to work with local partners and the Jewish community to uphold the legacy of what America can and should be as a country. Together, we will continue fighting to ensure that this period is merely another short, dark chapter temporarily interrupting America’s history as a nation that accepts people without judging them by faith or national origin. HIAS and the American Jewish community have seen such discrimination trap members of our own community, and we will not stand by silently as it happens to others.”
In addition to the ban on Muslim travelers, this administration has left tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees stranded in dangerous situations, unable to find safety on our shores or reunite with family members who are already here in the U.S.
The number of Muslim refugees admitted to the United States so far this year is down 89 percent from the prior federal fiscal year, from 21,565 to 2,452. Although admissions of refugees of all faiths have dropped significantly, from 48,856 to 15,788, the relative proportion of Muslim refugees has dropped even more. At this point in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, Muslim refugees comprised 45% and 44% of total refugee admissions, respectively. As of June 26 during the current fiscal year, however, Muslim refugees represent just 15% of total admissions.