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HIAS Statement on Muslim Ban Supreme Court Hearing

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SILVER SPRING, Md.—Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Trump v. Hawaii, the case challenging the most recent iteration of the 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. 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 hearing, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield issued the following statement:

“From the airport protests in January 2017 to the steps of the Supreme Court this morning, Americans have made clear that wholesale bans on entire religions or nationalities fundamentally betray what the United States stands for. There would be no American Jewish community if America had not been willing to welcome refugees and immigrants of all faiths, and that is why HIAS was one of the first organizations to challenge the ban in court last year.

“HIAS will continue to work with our local partners and the Jewish community to uphold America’s legacy as a welcoming country. Following the Supreme Court’s deliberation, we are hopeful that these bans, in all their forms, will be relegated to the footnotes of history. Together, we must continue to fight for the values that truly make America great.”

In addition to the Muslim ban, the administration has left tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees—disproportionately Muslims—stranded in dangerous situations, unable to find safety on our shores or reunite with family members.

The number of Muslim refugees admitted to the United States so far this year is down 90 percent from the prior federal fiscal year, from over 19,000 to approximately 1,900. Although admissions of refugees of all faiths have dropped significantly, the relative proportion of Muslim refugees has dropped even more. At this point in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, Muslim refugees comprised 44% and 46% of total refugee admissions, respectively. As of April 24 during the current fiscal year, however, Muslim refugees represent just 16% of total admissions.

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