The NMAAHC Explores the Beauty and Brutality of African-American History

shackles-worn-by-childrenSlave shackles used to chain children (Credit: All Artifacts from the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture)

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a Smithsonian Institution museum established in December 2003. The museum’s building, designed by David Adjaye, is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. at 14th Street and Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Historian Lonnie Bunch is the museum’s founding director; Jacquelyn Serwer is its chief curator.

Early efforts to establish a federally owned museum featuring African-American history and culture can be traced to 1915, although the modern push for such an organization did not begin until the 1970s. After years of little success, a much more serious legislative push began in 1988 that led to authorization of the museum in 2003. A site was selected in 2006. The museum opened September 24, 2016, in a ceremony led by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The museum confronts head-on America’s history of slavery and racial oppression. Yet, while memorializing suffering, the museum wants even the bleakest artifacts to have a positive message. As visitors face an auction block where slaves stood to be bought and sold, they can also imagine the strength slaves summoned to survive.

Unusually, the museum had to start from scratch without a collection. It ran an “Antiques Roadshow”- style project in 15 cities that encouraged people to give heirlooms from their closets and attics, and yielded some of the 40,000 objects the museum now holds. About 3,500 artifacts will be on display in the opening exhibitions, many of them treasures donated by ordinary people.

Click the images above to enlarge or read the caption.

The museum tells its story in part chronologically rather than thematically. This decision is written into the architecture itself, as visitors descend 70 feet below ground to begin the historical journey centuries ago with the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The museum displays the original coffin of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old savagely killed in Mississippi in 1955; Ku Klux Klan hoods; and a piece of rope used in a lynching. The museum tells a history that continues to evolve. It documents the presidency of Barack Obama, but artifacts reflecting events like Black Lives Matter protests underscore persistent inequality and police brutality.

Above ground, the museum departs from the chronological narrative to examine African-American achievements in fields like music, art, sports and the military. Visitors can tour these brighter third-floor and fourth-floor themed Culture and Community galleries without venturing into the history sections below.

Some exhibitions depict the diverse experiences of African-Americans in regions across the nation, from the birth of hip-hop in the Bronx, for example, to life in the South Carolina rice fields. Though here, too, the exhibitions refer to the oppression and discrimination that African-Americans experienced and highlight their fight to overcome segregation and bring about social change.

From the building’s upper levels, visitors can view the Washington Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House and the National Mall — a symbolic reminder, officials say, that the museum is a lens on the broader American experience.

Visitors are able to leave their own thoughts at public video booths. After such powerful displays, they can also sit in a space called the Contemplative Court to come to terms with what they have witnessed.

Appropriately for a public museum at the heart of Washington’s cultural landscape, the museum’s creators did not want to build a space for a black audience alone, but for all Americans. In the spirit of Langston Hughes’s poem “I, Too,” their message is a powerful declaration: The African-American story is an American story, as central to the country’s narrative as any other, and understanding black history and culture is essential to understanding American history and culture.


The National Museum of African American History and Culture
I, Too, Sing America | The National Museum of African American History and Culture | New York Times (Interactive)

Killed by the Mafia at 7, Nicholas Green’s Heart of Gold Finally Stops Beating

How a 7-year-old American boy, murdered by Mafia hit men on a lonely Italian highway 22 years ago, changed a nation.

Nicholas Green was a thoughtful, imaginative 7-year-old boy touring southern Italy with his parents, Reg and Maggie, and younger sister Eleanor. On a lonely stretch of highway the night of Sept. 29, 1994, bursts of gunfire targeted their car, and a bullet hit Nicholas. After two days fighting to survive, his life ended tragically on Oct. 1 in a Sicilian hospital, and his parents decided to donate five of his organs and his corneas to seven different people.

One of Nicholas’s corneas went to Domenica Galletta, who had been waiting for a transplant for five years and who had never seen her daughter. Another went to Francesco Mondello, a young father. The liver went to 19-year-old Maria Pia Pedalà, who went on to have a child she named Nicholas. His kidneys went to 14-year-old Maria Di Ceglie and 10-year-old Tino Motta. And his heart went to Andrea Mongiardo, who, at 15, had spent more than half of his life in hospital before Nicholas’s death saved him.

Sadly, Mongiardo died of lymphoma in a Rome hospital late last week, silencing Nicholas’s heart forever, but reminding Italians once again about the gifts of life the Green family had bestowed. Mongiardo’s funeral was attended by a group of young transplant recipients who credit Green with their survival, and the doctor who performed the heart transplant who came to give “a final farewell” to both Green and Mongiardo.

The organ donations enhanced and saved lives, but more importantly the act forever changed organ donation in Italy because of what is commonly referred to as the “effetto Nicholas” or “the Nicholas effect.” Previously, transplants were regarded with superstitious suspicions and in some cases ran afoul of the Catholic Church. But since Nicholas’s death, organ donation has tripled in this country, unquestionably thanks to the Green family’s generosity.

“Every year tens of thousands of people around the world at the worst moment of their lives resist the temptation to turn inward in sorrow or bitterness and instead put their grief on one side long enough to reach out to complete strangers—people they can’t even visualize—and transform their lives,” Reg Green told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview. “The enormous increase in donations represents the generous hearts of the Italian people. I doubt that any other country in the world would have shown the compassion that Italy has. When Nicholas was killed it seems as though the whole country wanted to comfort us.”

A month after the murder, two local thugs, Francesco Mesiano and Michele Iannello, were arrested for the shooting. They pleaded their innocence, even though the car from which they shot was owned by Iannello, who says he had loaned it to his brother that fateful night. They were initially acquitted in 1997 due to the fact that none of the Green family survivors could positively identify them. How could they? The killing had taken place in the dark of night with Reg Green trying to save his young family by attempting to outrun the perpetrators as the masked killers fired shots. An Italian appellate court overturned the acquittal in 1998 and convicted the duo of the murder, which was upheld by Italy’s high court in 1999.

Over the last 20 years, Green has written two books, The Nicholas Effect and The Gift that Heals and Jamie Lee Curtis was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Maggie Green in a made-for-TV movie called Nicholas’ Gift. Green has become a global advocate for organ donation, speaking on the cause and keeping in touch with the those who got a second chance at life thanks to Nicholas.

During that time, Mesiano served his sentence and is now free, and Iannello, who turned state’s evidence against other mafiosi, managed to win house arrest. He is now living in northern Italy with his wife and two children, despite having been given a life sentence, and he has been quietly petitioning for a full pardon from Italy’s president. His case most probably would have gone unnoticed if Mongiardo’s death had not brought to mind again the murder of the little boy. Now the killer’s plea for a pardon is being met with fierce public opposition.

Iannello “has consistently denied his guilt but the evidence was very strong against him and Francesco Mesiano,” Reg Green told The Daily Beast. “We have never wanted revenge, only justice, and we accepted without protest their acquittal at the first trial. Victims make very bad judges, as you know, so my opinion about his pardon is too subjective to be of value.”

Iannello, who admitted to killing four other people under contract with the Calabria ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate, would be able to move from his house and even leave the country if he were pardoned. “Your readers will have to decide for themselves if a man who was sentenced to life imprisonment and admits to a series of other killings but who has lived outside prison for years, has paid the price for taking the life of a child,” said Green.

Still, the most important legacy is not that of his son’s killer, but that of his son. “He saw the best in everyone so that when you were with him you always wanted to be your best,” Green says of his son. “On the plane on the way home, after he had been killed, Maggie was sitting on the row behind me with Eleanor. She leaned forward and said quietly, ‘You know, I never heard him tell a lie.’ There was something shocking about it. It seemed so absolute. I thought about it and said that was true for me too — nor any of the sneaky half-truths I and just about every other child I’ve known has done.”

In Italy today, “the Nicholas effect” is a household term that carries with it a whole history of love and generosity. “Of all things I think it is the longevity of Italy’s loyalty to Nicholas’ memory that has surprised me most,” Green says. “One small death more than 20 years ago in a place almost no-one has been to should have been forgotten long ago by everyone except those closely connected to it.” Luckily, for the thousands of people who are alive because of the impact of that “one small death,” no one wants to forget it, and no one will.

Source: The Mafia Killed This Boy—but His Heart Lived On -By Barbie Latza | The Daily Beast


Recommended…
❤️ The Final Beat of Nicholas Green’s Heart of Gold | Los Angeles Times
❤️ The Nicholas Green Foundation

James Baldwin: I Am Not Your Negro | Film Review

james-baldwin-2Photos: Mark B. Anstendig (above); featured: Daniel Bretton Tisdale, “James Baldwin,” 2007, (graphite on Italian handmade paper) from the “Harlem Masters” series.

James Baldwin is having a posthumous resurgence, but we are so in need of his words at this moment that it’s hard to believe he hasn’t still been writing every day since his death in 1987. In every genre Baldwin dabbled, from novels to political commentary to arts criticism, he found the core of our identity as a nation: a core that feeds off division and prejudice; that celebrates its own history while refusing to learn from it; and that was, and plainly remains, too painful for anyone other than him to talk about honestly.

Today’s media is flush with essayists who trace a direct line to Baldwin, the most prominent being Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose bestselling sensation Between the World and Me is a grim postscript to Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, and dispels even the slim notion of hope for true racial justice Baldwin offered in 1963. But Baldwin refused to see himself as a “race writer”: Instead, he framed arguments for equality as pleas to save the entire American soul from corrosive hatred and isolation. The exceptional new documentary I Am Not Your Negro, which director Raoul Peck began to work on before the Obama presidency, gives us a fresh new view on Baldwin’s words, while also reminding us that the same American soul he struggled so hard to convince us was worth saving remains on life support today.

“If any white man in the world says ‘Give Me liberty Or Give Me Death,’ the entire white world applauds. When a black man says EXACTLY the same thing; he is judged a criminal, and treated like one, and everything is possibly done to make an example of this bad nigger so there won’t be anymore like him.” – James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro is also not your Baldwin CliffsNotes. Instead, Peck gives us a far more urgent, revelatory document: a visual imagining of the writer’s last, unfinished manuscript. Titled Remember This House, it was to be Baldwin’s personal reflection on the lives and assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers, all of whom he was close with. “I want these three lives to bang against and reveal each other,” Baldwin wrote. And as these lives bang, Baldwin’s (and Peck’s) gaze turns: from the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s to America’s insistence on imagining great social progress where little has occurred.

The film uses only Baldwin’s words, superbly narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. There are no talking heads to put them “into context,” because the context is already there, in our history and all around us. Peck, working from 30 pages of raw text gifted him by Baldwin’s sister Gloria, animates the prose with archival news clips, still photographs, and scenes from popular films of Baldwin’s time. And he also, with dreamlike continuity, grants brief passage into the modern day: young black men shot by police, the Black Lives Matter protests, a montage of superficial apologies from white politicians. Robert Kennedy accurately predicts that America will see a black president 40 years from his time, and then Baldwin takes apart the idea that we had to wait so long in the first place.

Baldwin was also a voracious consumer of pop culture. Some of the film’s most intriguing passages muse on the history of onscreen black identity from Stepin Fetchit to Sidney Poitier, the latter characterized as a kind of panacea to comfort white people. (Poitier’s escaped convict in The Defiant Ones jumps off a train carrying him to freedom in order to save the white escapee he’s been chained to for the entire film. Baldwin’s response: “Get back on the train, you fool!”) These bits are where you realize just how much of a documentary’s strength depends on its editing. Would Baldwin’s memory of finding a black woman who “looked exactly like Joan Crawford” have carried as much symbolic weight were it not overlaid on the perfect clip of the lily-white Crawford boogying in Dance, Fools, Dance?

Peck renders his subject’s prose with brisk pacing, without turning Negro into a soundbite film — a remarkable task, given how much Baldwin structured his sentences with the intention of his audience getting to reread them, picking over their bones for protein. It helps that the film frequently leans on Baldwin’s gift for oratory, as he delivers his own message on college campuses and late-night television, with his wry smile and searching eyes. This approach is dense and yet accessible, and seems to be a direct challenge to Baldwin’s own musings that television “weakens our ability to deal with the world as it is, as we are.” (That Jackson, the reigning king of escapist entertainment, is the one reciting these words adds a delicious layer of irony.)

“What white people have to do, is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place, because I’m not a nigger, I’m a man, but if you think I’m a nigger, it means you need it… then you’ve got to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that. Whether or not it’s able to ask that question. -James Baldwin, “The Negro and The American Promise”, 1963

It is easy, in a time when protest feels urgent and the past seems to have vanished, to get swept up in Baldwin’s essays, and in so doing to forget that he was also a peerless storyteller. One flaw to the film is that, by painting such a convincing portrait of Baldwin-as-polemicist, it neglects that only a great novelist could make those arguments as forthright and necessary as he did. In books like Another Country and Giovanni’s Room, he could take manners of race and sexuality no one was talking about in public and render them with such finely wrought passion as to rip their invisibility cloaks to shreds. Negro wants to anoint Baldwin as the voice of reason in our troubled, divided times, but we need to remember he valued the power of stories and chastised those who did not. Of Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe, he once wrote, “She was not so much a novelist as an impassioned pamphleteer.”

Though it was just nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar, Negro seems at risk of being overshadowed in the public eye by the two more popular nominees that broadly deal with that discordant, shapeshifting topic we call “race relations”: the sweeping yet granular true-crime saga O.J.: Made in America, and the fiery mass-incarceration lecture 13th. All are worthy of attention. But to dismiss all three movies as different pages of the same pamphlet — or to declare that Negro is only relevant now because it’s Black History Month — is to continue to misunderstand Baldwin’s message. He wasn’t lecturing to “white America” or passing instructions to “black America”; he truly wanted everyone to confront the same narrative together, to stop hiding behind fictions and make some sense of the country. Did he succeed? Well, when confronted with such pressing, vibrantly cinematic power built entirely from decades-old words, we must ask ourselves exactly why, in 2017, these words may as well have been written for the first time.

Reprint: James Baldwin, In His Own Searing, Revelatory Words: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ -By Andrew Lapin | NPR (Movie Review)


Recommended…
James Baldwin from “The Negro and the American Promise” | PBS

‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Review: Brilliant Notes on a Native Son -By Joe Morgenstern | Wall Street Journal

Review: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Will Make You Rethink Race -By A.O. Scott | New York Times

Box Office: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Shaping Up to Be Documentary Hit -By Brent Long | Variety

The Misunderstood Ghost of James Baldwin -By Ismail Muhammad | Slate

The Tragically Chronic Relevance of James Baldwin -By Wesley Morrison & Jenna Wortham | New York Times

Do Yourself a Favor: Go See Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro -By Julia Felsenthal | Vogue

James Baldwin, The Art of Fiction No. 78 | Interview by Jordan Elgrably | Paris Review, Issue 91, Spring 1984

Court After Court Refuses to Reinstate Donald Trump’s Travel Ban

Featured image: Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, after earlier in the day two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country. On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90 days. Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, which are all Muslim-majority nations. (Photo: AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

On January 27, Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that banned immigrants from seven Muslim nations (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia) from entering the United States for the next 90 days. New refugee admissions are suspended for 120 days. The Syrian refugee resettlement program was suspended indefinitely. Trump’s ill-conceived and illegal order has, predictably, thrown thousands of lives into chaos. Immigrants and refugees with visas are either being prevented from entering the country or are being detained when they arrive.

On February 1, I posted a blog titled “18 Ways to Help Immigrants & Refugees Impacted by Donald Trump’s Executive Order“. The post was my “reply all” to the many people who have reached out to me, asking how they can help. Consider this an update of sorts. This post chronicles the foreseeable journey of Trump’s  executive order through America’s co-equal branch of government: the judiciary. Spoiler alert: It hasn’t gone well for the Trump administration. Predictably, Trump  attacked the judges, cursed the rule of law, and blamed the media  for the many problems he created. I’ll continue to update this post as major events happen on this topic, but please keep one thing in mind as you read the content below: This is Not Normal!


February 4
United States District Senior Judge James Robart for the Western District of Washington State issued a nationwide restraining order blocking the travel ban put in place by Donald Trump’s January 27 executive order.

Washington became the first state to sue Trump over his controversial executive order on immigration, with a number of states, including New York, joining the effort this week.  The Seattle decision comes after other federal judges in Boston, Virginia and New York granted restraining orders preventing the government from deporting people affected by Trump’s travel ban.

In issuing his decision, Robart was siding with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who filed a suit to block key provisions of Trump’s executive order, including the travel ban and sections that bars Syrian refugees from entering the country.

Judge Robart suggested in court that Trump’s 90-day entry ban on people from the countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen was not “rationally based,” since no one from any those countries had been arrested in the U.S. on terrorism-related charges since 9/11. Additionally, Judge Robart’s order argues Trump’s executive action “adversely” affects “areas of employment, education, business, family relations and freedom to travel.” Reversing the action, the suit concluded, is thereby in the public interest: “These harms are significant and ongoing,” the order states.

Naturally, Mr. Trump to lashed out at Judge Robart  throughout the day, prompting criticism that Trump failed to respect the judicial branch and its power to check on his authority.  In a Twitter post on Saturday, Mr. Trump wrote, “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”

The Justice Department filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The DOJ’s appellate brief asked the 9th Circuit to stay Judge Robart’s order pending the appeal, arguing Trump has an “unreviewable” constitutional authority to suspend the entry of any class of foreigners into the United States. The DOJ further argued that any judicial ruling contrary to Trump’s executive order “second-guesses the president’s national security judgment.”

The Ninth Circuit court moved quickly to reject the administration’s appeal, a measure of the urgency and intense interest in the case.

free-attorneyPro bono lawyers and protesters at Los Angeles International Airport on January 29, 2017, rally against the Muslim immigration ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo: Amanda Edwards / Getty).

February 9
A federal appeals panel has maintained the freeze on Trump’s controversial immigration order, meaning previously barred refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries can continue entering the United States.

In a unanimous 29-page opinion, three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit flatly rejected the government’s argument that suspension of the order should be lifted immediately for national security reasons, and they forcefully asserted their ability to serve as a check on the president’s power.

The judges wrote that any suggestion that they could not “runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”

Trump reacted angrily on social media. He posted a Tweet just minutes after the ruling, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

Hillary Clinton, who lost the presidency to Trump in November, posted on Twitter simply, “3-0.”

The Justice Department could now ask the Supreme Court — which often defers to the president on matters of immigration and national security — to intervene. The Supreme Court, though, remains one justice short, and many see it as ideologically split 4 to 4. A tie would keep in place whatever the appeals court decides. The Justice Department could also ask the full 9th Circuit to consider the matter.

The appeals court opinion was written by Judge Michelle T. Friedland, who was appointed by President Barack Obama; Judge Richard R. Clifton, who was appointed by President George W. Bush; and Judge William C. Canby, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter. It was detailed, but it does not represent a final judgment on Trump’s immigration ban.

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart granted the states of Washington and Minnesota a temporary restraining order on the ban. The appeals court judges noted their ruling was a “preliminary one,” and they were deciding only whether the government had “made a strong showing of its likely success” in getting the restraining order thrown out.

Federal courts in New York, California and elsewhere already had blocked aspects of the ban from being implemented, although one federal judge in Massachusetts declared that he did not think that challengers had demonstrated that they had a high likelihood of success. The case before the 9th Circuit, though, was much broader than the others, because it stemmed from a federal judge’s outright halting of the ban.

The court ruling did not affect one part of the executive order: the cap of 50,000 refugees to be admitted in the 2017 fiscal year. That is down from the 110,000 ceiling put in place under President Barack Obama. The order also directed the secretary of state and the secretary of homeland security to prioritize refugee claims made by persecuted members of religious minorities.

As of February 9, that means the United States will be allowed to accept only about 16,000 more refugees this fiscal year. Since Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year, 33,929 refugees have been admitted, 5,179 of them Syrians.

sarah-assaliSarah Assali, 19, left, who just arrived from Syria, is embraced by her brother Tawfik Assali, 21, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, upon her and other family members’ arrival from Syria at Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on February 6, 2017. Attorneys said Dr. Assali’s brothers, their wives and their two teenage children returned to Syria after they were denied entrance to the United States on January 28 although they had visas in hand after a 13-year effort. (Photo: Craig Ruttle/AP).

February 13
A federal judge in Virginia just handed down one of the biggest defeats yet to Donald Trump’s travel ban. Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the ban in Virginia until it can be fully argued out in court. That means it could be weeks or months before overseas travelers are again blocked from coming into the country via Virginia’s international airports.

The case pitted the federal government, represented by lawyers from the Justice Department’s Civil Division, against the Commonwealth of Virginia, represented by State Solicitor General Stuart Raphael and Attorney General Mark Herring.

Unlike temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions can become permanent. Some legal experts say the fact that Brinkema has issued this injunction means the Virginia case could potentially reach the Supreme Court before the Washington case—a possibility that reporters brought up to Herring when he held a press conference after the last round of oral arguments in that case on Feb. 10.

In her ruling, Brinkema wrote that it’s likely Virginia will successfully argue that Trump’s travel ban violates the First Amendment. The ruling cited Trump’s interview with Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, where he said his administration would prioritize the asylum claims of Christian refugees over refugees of other religions.

“The ‘Muslim ban’ was a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign for months,” she wrote, “and the press release calling for it was still available on his website as of the day this Memorandum Opinion is being entered.” And she wrote that just because the travel ban doesn’t impact all Muslims doesn’t mean it isn’t discriminatory.

“[T]he Supreme Court has never reduced its Establishment Clause jurisprudence to a mathematical exercise,” she wrote. “It is a discriminatory purpose that matters, no matter how inefficient the execution.”

Trump Travel Ban AtlantaA demonstrator holds a sign at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport during a demonstration on January 29, 2017, in Atlanta. (Photo: Branden Camp/AP)

February 16
Donald Trump said Thursday that he will issue a new executive order on immigration by next week, and Justice Department lawyers asked a federal appeals court to hold off on taking action in the legal battle over his initial travel ban until that new order is in place.

In a news conference at the White House, Trump said the new order would “comprehensively protect our country,” and he hinted that it might contain new vetting measures for travelers. Trump’s first order temporarily barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from entering the United States, ostensibly so officials could review and tighten screening procedures.

“Extreme vetting will be put in place, and it already is in place in many places,” Trump said. He said the administration “had to go quicker than we thought” because a federal appeals court refused to lift the suspension on his travel ban.

Trump’s comments and the Justice Department’s request to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit mean that the administration – at least for now – is pumping the brakes on the furious court battle to restore the travel ban. Instead, the administration indicated in its filing that it expects that a revamped executive order will eliminate judges’ concerns, even those the Justice Department views as unfounded.

Sources: Virginia Judge Blocks Trump’s Travel Ban—Maybe Forever -By Betsy Woodruff | The Daily Beast

Federal Appeals Court Rules 3 to 0 Against Trump on Travel Ban – By Matt Zapotosky | Washington Post

Appeals Court Rejects Request to Immediately Restore Travel Ban -By Mark Lander | New York Times

Trump Promises New Immigration Order as DOJ Holds Off Appeals Court -By Laura Jarrett, Allie Malloy and Dan Merica | CNN


Recommended…
Syrian Family Forced To Return To Middle East After Arriving In Philadelphia | All Things Considered | NPR

Trump’s Executive Order On Immigration, Annotated | NPR

How Trump’s Travel Ban broke from the Normal Executive Order Process -By Kim Soffen and Darla Cameron | Washington Post

Trump’s Immigration Ban: Who Is Barred and Who Is Not -By Anjali Singhvi and Alicia Parlapiano | New York Times

 

Blood-Thirsty Mob Storms Afghanistan Police Station and Murders Eloping Couple

honor-killingPhotos: AFP (above). Featured image by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images 

An armed mob that included relatives of a young woman who had eloped with her lover stormed a police station holding the couple in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend, then dragged the lovers off and killed them, officials and witnesses said. The mob wounded three police officers, one of them seriously, the officials and witnesses said Sunday and Monday in providing accounts of the couple’s violent deaths, often called honor killings.

The woman, Fatiha, 18, was described as having been married against her will and eloping instead with a young man, Hedayatullah, believed to be in his early 20s, from a neighboring village in Wama District of Nuristan Province. But on Saturday the police caught and arrested the couple on suspicion of adultery.

Within hours an armed mob formed at the police station, led by Fatiha’s husband and his family, but also including her brothers and cousins, the officials and witnesses said. The authorities said there were only 30 police officers at the station facing a mob of 250 to 300 heavily armed men. “If police had fired bullets at the people, a massacre could have happened,” said Hafiz Abdul Qayoom, the governor of Nuristan, claiming the police had no option but to surrender the couple to the mob, especially after three officers had suffered gunshot wounds from the angry crowd. Enayatullah, the district governor in Wama, who like many Afghans uses only one name, said the couple were apparently killed soon after they had been taken out of the police station.

Salam Khan, 22, a witness from Fatiha’s village, Sar-i-Pul, said he saw what had happened to the couple after the police surrendered them. “Some of Fatiha’s relatives, her cousins, were beating her with their fists and saying, ‘Why did you do this?’ Then her older brother got angry and shot her with a hunting rifle and her younger brother shot her with an AK-47. I don’t know how many bullets they fired,” Mr. Khan said, speaking by telephone from the remote village.

The man described by officials and witnesses as the woman’s husband, who was not identified, shot and killed Hedayatullah, with whom she had eloped, according to Mr. Khan. Hedayatullah was described as a member of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s paramilitary intelligence service, who was stationed in the village.

The Nuristan case recalled a 2014 case in which a young couple from Bamian Province eloped to escape an arranged marriage, but last year fled to asylum in the United States to escape family retribution.

“Such cases happen a lot in Nuristan, but they don’t come into the media,” said Hawa Alam Nuristani, a member of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission from Nuristan. This case came to attention because of the notoriety surrounding it and what Ms. Nuristani said was a high bride price paid to the girl’s father, reputedly 30 goats and seven cows. “In such cases when something goes wrong, people do not know other ways except killing, and women are not aware of their rights,” Ms. Nuristani said.

Governor Qayoom said he was sending a delegation to the district to investigate the crime. “People there are ignorant, just like what people did in Kabul with Farkhunda,” he said. He was referring to a 2015 killing in which a female Islamic scholar was lynched by a mob over false rumors that she had burned a Quran.

As of Monday in the Nuristan case, no one had been charged or arrested in the fatal shootings of the couple or the shootings of the police officers.

Governor Qayoom said there had been reports of several recent cases of elopements in the district, so villagers were on the lookout for unaccompanied women. Saeedullah Payendazai Kamparwal, the chairman of the Nuristan provincial council and a native of Wama District, said Fatiha’s plan had been to climb the mountain above her house to a road on the other side, where Hedayatullah was awaiting her. Two young boys were suspicious after seeing her on her own, however, and they alerted police officers.

The Afghan police typically consider an unmarried couple alone together to be guilty of adultery or attempted adultery, and the couple were presumably arrested for that. They claimed to be married but the police could tell they were from different districts and therefore did not believe them, according to Mr. Kamparwal’s account.

Once word reached the families of the woman and her husband that she was being held, they formed the mob that stormed the police station, according to the authorities. “People said to the police, ‘Hand them over to us or we will raid the offices and break off relations with the government,’” Mr. Kamparwal said. The district is in a pro-government part of a province where the Taliban also have some control.

Saheb Dad Hamdard, the head of the Nuristan Journalists’ Shura, or council, cast doubt on claims that such large numbers of people had attacked the police station. “How can anyone believe that 250 to 300 people attacked? Wama District in total has four villages. Where would 300 people come from?” he said. “And where did they get arms? There’s no armed group in the village.” Mr. Hamdard suggested that the authorities had acquiesced in turning the couple over to the families. Others, however, said that in such rural areas of Nuristan Province, people are often heavily armed.

Source: Mob Kills Eloped Lovers After Storming Afghan Police Station -By Zahra Nader and Rod Nordland | New York Times

Recommended…
The Lovers: The True Story of Afghanistan’s Romeo & Juliet -By Rod Nordland | Mashable
Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman -By Alissa J. Rubin | New York Times

Child, Bride, Mother: Nigeria

Yakaka, center, and her two sisters, Yagana and Falimata, were all abducted and married to Boko Haram fighters. Photographs by Stephanie Sinclair/Too Young to Wed

After conquering Bama, the second-largest town in Nigeria’s Borno state, a small group of fighters from the militant Islamist group Boko Haram forced their way into the thatched-roof home of Hawa’s family, demanding the 15-year-old girl as a bride.

“My parents refused to give me away in marriage,” Hawa told me in November. “So they killed them in front of me.” They then turned to her grandfather. “What do you have to say?” the fighters asked. He reluctantly acquiesced, and they handed him a few thousand Nigerian naira as a bride price, roughly $10. The men carried Hawa away. “I was terrified,” said Hawa, recalling that night in September 2014. Along with about 20 other girls, many of them friends and classmates, Hawa was taken to one of the militants’ camps deep within the 200-square-mile Sambisa Forest.

Since beginning its insurgency against the Nigerian government in 2009, Boko Haram has unleashed bombings, assassinations and abductions from its bases in the forest in an effort to topple the government and create an Islamic state. Kidnappings like Hawa’s were not uncommon in northern Nigeria, yet it was only when the group abducted 276 schoolgirls from their dormitory in the town of Chibok in 2014 that the world took notice. With the mantra “Bring Back Our Girls,” the issue exploded on social media. But with little news from the remote region, the public’s interest waned.

Nearly three years later it’s now becoming apparent that the Chibok abductions were just one instance of a profoundly disturbing tactic: child marriage as a weapon of war.

According to the International Crisis Group, the relative ease with which Boko Haram carried out the Chibok abductions emboldened the group. With increasing frequency, both Christian and, more recently, Muslim women and girls have been kidnapped, dismantling communities that oppose the group’s brutal tactics. To attract male recruits and motivate combatants, Boko Haram awards these “wives” to fighters. As these girls reach puberty, forced marriages often turn them into unwilling mothers; their children are destined to become the next generation of fighters, raised with their fathers’ twisted ideology.

This trade in child brides was common even before the conflict. According to Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of civil society organizations, across Nigeria 43 percent of girls are married before their 18th birthday. In northern Nigeria, the rate is as high as 76 percent. Girls are most commonly forced into marriage for economic reasons: one fewer mouth to feed for their birth families and sources of labor, sex and childbearing for the groom’s family. Now, with the region devastated by violence, desperate parents increasingly see early marriage as a way to protect their daughters as fighting closes schools, and families grow more impoverished.

Click on image to enlarge or read caption. Photographs by Stephanie Sinclair/Too Young to Wed

On a hot afternoon, in a cramped office in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, Photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair discussed the status of the Chibok girls, many reportedly married off to fighters, with Engr Satomi Ahmad, the executive chairman of Borno’s State Emergency Management Agency. “Being the chairman of this agency, the Chibok girls, for me, don’t even represent 0.1 percent, not even 0.1 percent, of the entire abduction of girls,” Mr. Ahmad said.

Reports provided to the Nigerian government estimate that up to 9,000 women and girls have been abducted since the start of Boko Haram’s insurgency. Mr. Ahmad believes that at least 13,000 more are unaccounted for, and likely even more from areas that are too dangerous to assess.

Last November, Sinclair spoke with about 30 girls who had been abducted and forced to wed some of the world’s most violent men. They spoke of being caged for months, of friends set on fire, of being forced into marriage and sexually assaulted by men who “smelled of blood.” They described the risks they had taken to free themselves: racing through gun and mortar battles, sometimes pregnant or carrying a child, crossing rivers, walking for days without food or water, and the suspicion they were met with even after reaching safety.

Hawa didn’t know how long she’d spent in Boko Haram’s camp in the bush, though it was enough time to give birth to a baby boy, whom she named Mubarak. The child was nearly 6 months old when Hawa, now 17, escaped from her captors. But the journey home provided new tragedies: During the long walk to Maiduguri the baby died.

“I did not have enough milk to feed him,” she said.

Life outside of captivity has its own hardships for the girls called “Boko Haram wives,” with other Nigerians wary of their allegiances after so long in captivity. The terrorists’ calculated use of children as suicide bombers — 75 percent of them girls — has added to the atmosphere of fear and distrust, with a devastating cascade of consequences for girls who do manage to escape.

“Some pity us, others don’t want us near them,” Aisha I., 17, told Sinclair.  After three and a half years in captivity, she arrived in Maiduguri homeless and three months pregnant. Like the other former abductees Sinclair spoke with, Aisha and Hawa found themselves without education, money, family support or anyone to help them reintegrate peacefully and safely into society. In fact, Sinclair learned in interviewing representatives from multiple global aid organizations, few even knew the escaped girls were living in Maiduguri.

Why is no one trying to help Nigeria’s missing girls, either the ones held in the forest or those who have escaped? The effort and resources appear focused on the 276 Chibok girls. Boko Haram leaders claim the girls they’ve taken don’t want to come home. But government officials and escapees Sinclair spoke with say otherwise.

On her last morning in Maiduguri, Sinclair went to say goodbye to Aisha. Light streamed into the simple room in which she lived, as the photojournalist watched her make tea, organize her few belongings and nurse her son; each task a small step toward the life she hoped one day to rebuild.

“My dream for the future is for God to help me,” Aisha said. “And those who are still in the forest to escape.”

Source: Child, Bride, Mother: Nigeria | Stephanie Sinclair (feat. The New York Times)

Recommended….
Child, Bride, Mother: Nepal
Child, Bride, Mother: Guatemala
Too Young To Wed | National Geographic (Video)


Stephanie Sinclair, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization Too Young to Wed. The Ford Foundation contributed support for this project.

WALKING WHILE BLACK: L.O.V.E. Is the Answer

Hollywood FAME Award-winning Director and Producer A.J. Ali, and Oscar and Sundance winner Errol Webber have teamed up to create Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. Is the Answer, a documentary film that examines racial profiling in law enforcement. The film recounts painful stories of the past while offering solutions to curb future profiling incidents. It seeks to build a movement that will make a distinct difference in the areas of social justice and racial reconciliation.

“I think police departments need an intervention,” retired LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey said. “If you don’t admit that there’s a problem, then there’s nothing to fix and so there’s no harm in saying that we don’t always get it right as police officers.”

“It is a reminder of some of the things in law enforcement that we’re not proud of,” Santa Monica College Chief of Police Johnnie Adams said.

“The next step is we need churches and schools and non-profits and even law enforcement agencies to license this film and bring us to their town so we can go there and do the screening, do a ‘Q and A,’ hold workshops and just spend time with people and teach people how to love each other again,” Ali explained.

The word “love” in the title is also an acronym as explained by those involved with the film. “Lstands for learning about your community and its people, “O” means to open your heart, “V” stands for volunteering yourself and “E” stands for empowering.


Learn More
Make a Donation
Host a Screening
❤ Tickets for Pan-African Film Festival Screening
❤ Join the Movement
❤ Facebook

18 Ways to Help Immigrants & Refugees Impacted by Donald Trump’s Executive Order

exo-2Protester at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia (Paul J. Richards/ AFP /Getty Images); Background: The Jouriyeh family, Syrian refugees who arrived in California in August (Photo: Lenny Ignelzi / AP).

⊱ “The time is always right to do what is right.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ⊰

On January 27,  Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that banned  immigrants from seven Muslim nations (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia) from entering the United States for the next 90 days. New refugee admissions are suspended for 120 days. The Syrian refugee resettlement program was suspended indefinitely. Trump’s ill-conceived and illegal order has, predictably, thrown thousands of lives into chaos. Immigrants and refugees with visas are either being prevented from entering the country or are being detained when they arrive.

Federal judges in several states have temporarily blocks parts of the order.  Federal Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn blocked deportations nationwide and granted a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to stop the deportations after determining that the risk of injury to those detained by being returned to their home countries necessitated the decision. However, there are reports that border patrol is defying federal judges’ orders. And many refugees and immigrants across the United States and the world are currently stuck in limbo.  They are either being detained by US Immigrations at airports and thus are unable to immigrate to America despite having legal visas, or they are unable to leave the U.S. for fear of being denied re-entry upon return.

We cannot remain silent as the Trump administration violates the U.S. Constitution with impunity,  instill fears, and rips apart families. We cannot sit idly by as the foundation and fundamental fabric of our society is being shredded. We must fight and we must assist those who have been left stateless and voiceless by Trump’s order.  The good news is that there are many ways to help those impacted by Trump’s order, both from within the United States as well as abroad. The following is a list of 18 ways in which you can contribute your resources, skills, and time right now. It’s not too late. 

1. Fund Organizations Helping Immigrants Currently Detained At U.S. Airports
On January 28, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); the National Immigrant Law Center (NILC), the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center; Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization; and the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton jointly filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqi men who were en route to the United States on immigrant visas when Trump issued the executive order. Other notable organizations committed to challenging Trump’s executive order or assisting immigrants and refugees include Amnesty International, Arab -American Anti-Discrimination CommitteeCouncil on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Doctors Without Borders,  International Rescue Committee, Oxfam International,  the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), and The White Helmets. The many refugees, immigrants, and valid U.S. visa holders languishing in airports across the country need information, legal representation, and social services. Making a financial contribution to the aforementioned organizations not only says you support their important work, it also helps subsidize the cost of an otherwise expensive process.

2. Call Your Elected Officials — Frequently
You can contact your elected officials by phone or email officials to express your concerns about the executive order. However, activists of all political stripes (myself included) recommend calling legislators — and not just venting in an email or on social media. To understand why a phone call holds more weight than an email and far outweighs a Facebook post or tweet, read this article.  Also, check out this helpful database that list contact information for senators and governors (but not House members) along with a summary of their public position on Trump’s executive order.

When calling your elected official, you may be asked to provide your name and city. Congressional aides need this basic information to ensure you are a constituent of the congressional member you’re attempting to reach.  Please be respectful to congressional aides and staffers. Explain the nature of your contact, namely that you are calling to ask your representative to reject Trump’s  executive order calling for an outright ban on individuals from seven Middle Eastern countries and the indefinite suspension of the Syrian refugee resettlement program. Alternately, you can also draft 3-4 sentences in your own words, perhaps sharing your own immigration or refugee story. There is no limit to the number of times you can contact your elected official.

3. Join An Airport Protest Or Welcoming Committee
Since the executive order and subsequent detentions were announced, people have been protesting at airports all over the country to demand that immigrants and refugees are released from detention and to welcome immigrants into the United States. Keep an eye on social media to see if crowds are gathering at an airport near you and consider heading over in-person to take a stand. No gathering near you? Consider coordinating an event with friends, family, and members of your community. This is still incredibly necessary. Despite the federal court orders, travelers continue to be detained and denied access to lawyers.

4. Provide Necessities To Those At The Airport
While it is unfortunately impossible to reach the individuals being detained at airports around the country, providing basic necessities to those outside of the secure area — families waiting indefinitely for detainees, lawyers and translators working pro bono to secure their release, and protesters, among others — is both necessary and welcomed. Consider heading to your local airport to provide food, snacks, drink, and other necessities to those who are waiting and working.

5. Offer Your Legal Or Translation Skills
Lawyers, human rights advocates, and translators are needed at local airports to gather information and to assist detainees and their families.  If you are unable to go to the airport, consider contacting a local immigration advocacy organization and letting them know you are willing to work pro bono or volunteer your translation services (e.g., the Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles, California needs Farsi and Arabic speakers to assist LAX detainees) to immigrants with legal U.S. visas who are currently stranded abroad. 

6. Encourage Your Religious Leaders Take a Stand Against the Ban
According to a  Pew Research Center, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion (after Christianity) and the fastest-growing major religion. Indeed, if current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century. Trump executive order is an anathema to the very religious freedom this country was founded upon. Perhaps this is why Trump’s announcement was met with an immediate backlash from leaders of nearly every Christian denomination, along with those of other faiths. They argue that Trump’s actions do not reflect the teachings of the Bible, nor the traditions of the United States, and they have urged Trump to let them get back to work — many of the country’s most prominent refugee resettlement organizations are faith-based. From religious leaders’ perspectives, backlash against Trump’s immigration policy may be the most ecumenical issue in America right now. Hundreds of prominent clergy signed onto a letter condemning the “derogatory language that has been used about Middle Eastern refugees and our Muslim friends and neighbors,” calling on Trump to reinstate the refugee program. While these efforts included many progressive and mainline denomination leaders, along with an interfaith coalition of other clergy, it’s not just liberals who are pushing back against Trump. A wide range of conservative Christian leaders, along with other relief organizations, have also spoken out against Trump’s order. Ask your religious leaders to join them!

7. Hold the Media Accountable for Islamophobic Coverage
In September 2014, a Pew Research Center survey found that 82% of Republicans are “very concerned” about the rise of Islamic extremism in the world, compared with 60% of political independents and 51% of Democrats. Similarly, two-thirds of Republicans (67%) say that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers, compared with 47% of independents and 42% of Democrats. Age and religious affiliation were also considered by the study with similar results: unfavorable, Islamophobic sentiments. To understand the pervasive anti-Islamic sentiment within America, some argue that we need not look any further than mainstream media.

Scholars of media studies, including British sociologist Christopher Allen, maintain that news agencies are largely responsible for propagating anti-Islamic or Islamophobic beliefs in the minds of their audiences. Although Allen acknowledges that the media is not the sole transmitter of Islamophobia, he argues “It is the most accessible and indiscriminate disseminator of such ideas in our global environment.” In the past decade, news agencies such as Fox News and CNN have tended to frame their news stories on terrorism in a way that has engendered stereotypes and instances of prejudice towards the Arab world. This, in turn, completely distorts the image of the Islamic faith as well as its 1.6 billion followers. We must hold our media accountable for allowing Donald Trump to use its airwaves to stir up unfounded fears and spew racists, anti-Islamic rhetoric unchallenged. We must hold media accountable for its disproportionate coverage of Muslim-inspired terror attacks both at home and abroad. We must boycott any media outlet that perpetuates false narratives or treats attacks against Muslims in our community or around the world as anomalies or non-issues.

8. Encourage Businesses to Hire / Invest in Immigrants and Refugees
Many tech giants have publicly condemned Trump’s executive order. The list includes Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Google and Apple. On January 30, two companies – Expedia and Amazonfiled a lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing the executive order would hurt their businesses. As of Sunday, at least a thousand Expedia customers with passports from one of the seven countries had made travel plans that involve flights to, from or through the United States. Amazon said it was aware of 49 employees out of its United States work force of 180,000 who are from one of the countries identified in the executive order, nearly all of whom hold citizenship in another country.  At Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, 2000 employees crowded into a quad near the main cafeteria to protest the order. Employees carried signs like “Trump, Don’t Be Evil” and “Silicon Valley: Built by Immigrants,” while others chanted “No Ban, No Wall” into a megaphone. Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin participated in protest over the weekend. 

The finance, media, consumer retail, and energy industries’ responses to Trump’s order have varied wildly. The nation’s biggest banks (e.g., Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Citibank), which rely heavily on immigrant labor, have taken a more moderate “we’re reviewing the matter” stance. Media and telecom companies (e.g., Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Sony & Paramount) have been virtually silent, offering little or no public comment. Consumer and retail giants like Starbucks (which has pledged to hire 10,000 refugees), Nike, and Coca-Cola have publicly opposed the order, while other companies like Walmart and Target claim to be focused on assisting employees directly impacted by the order.  Similarly, the energy and heavy industry’s response has been mixed.  Companies like Ford, GE, and General Motors have publicly expressed concern or opposed Trump’s order. Yet other energy giants (e.g., ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Marathon, and Fiat Chrysler) have not responded to requests for comments.

Our message to business owners should be unified and clear: We will support companies (big and small) that are committed to hiring and assisting immigrants and refugees. We will encourage and pressure companies that have taken a “wait and see” stance. We will boycott companies that side with the Trump administration on this issue.  

9. Ask Local Colleges and Universities to Refuse to Release the Immigration Status of Their Students
The 62 institutions comprising the Association of American Universities (AAU), released a statement on January 28, urging government officials to end the travel ban “as quickly as possible.” The University of Michigan took its objections a step farther. On January 28, the university released a statement, saying it will flat-out refuse to release the immigration status of their students. “The University of Michigan welcomes and supports students without regard to their immigration status,” the statement said. “Campus police will not partner with federal, state, or other local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law except when required to do so by law.”  Regardless of whether you are a student or alumni, ask your college or university to join the University of Michigan and refuse to release the immigration status of its students.  

10. Lobby Your Local Officials (Mayors) to Declare Your City a Sanctuary
In the United States and Canada, a sanctuary city is a municipality that has adopted a policy of protecting illegal immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws in the country in which they are now living. Such a policy can be set out expressly in a law (de jure) or observed only in practice (de facto). The term applies generally to cities that do not use municipal funds or resources to enforce national immigration laws, and usually forbid police or municipal employees to inquire about a person’s immigration status. Federal officials must rely on local police to help enforce federal immigration laws, but the law doesn’t require local authorities to detain illegal immigrants just because their federal counterparts make a request. In fact, federal courts across the country have found complying with the requests is voluntary. Of the 168 counties where most of the 11 million illegal immigrants live, 68 sanctuary counties (or 400 sanctuary cities across the country) decline federal requests to hold arrestees in jail due to their immigration status compared to the 99 non-sanctuary counties that comply.

On January 25, Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Secretary of Homeland Security and Attorney General to defund sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal immigration law. He also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to begin issuing weekly public reports that include “a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.” Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University, has argued that Trump’s withholding of federal funding would be unconstitutional: “Trump and future presidents could use [the executive order] to seriously undermine constitutional federalism by forcing dissenting cities and states to obey presidential dictates, even without authorization from Congress. The circumvention of Congress makes the order a threat to separation of powers, as well.”

At least 37 sanctuary cities across the country are standing firm against Trump’s executive order.  On January 31, San Francisco sued the Trump administration, charging that its crackdown on sanctuary cities violates the state rights provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The move has broad implications for California, a state that aggressively protects immigrants who are in the country illegally from deportation. The state stands to lose more than $1.2 billion dollars a year in federal funding, most of it for healthcare, nutrition and other programs for the poor, according to San Francisco City Atty. Dennis Herrera. Boston mayor Marty Walsh is another example of defiance and protest. He vows to defy Trump’s executive order, even offering up city hall as a safe space for people who now felt threatened. Whatever the response, Walsh says he still has no intention of helping Trump’s mass deportations and that making cities poorer will hurt the whole country. “I’m keeping my policy as it is,” he says. 

Lobby your mayor to declare your city a sanctuary. Ask your mayor to publicly denounce the Trump administration’s inhumane and unconstitutional directives. If you live in a sanctuary city, contact the mayoral office to find out if they need volunteers or supplies to assist immigrants and refugees.

11. Individual Fundraisers
Consider donating funds to several individual GoFundMe campaigns started for immigrants who are stuck or in dire straits due to the executive order. Some of these campaigns include emergency funds for the Al-Rubaye family, who spent 10 years getting refugee status after the father was killed working with the U.S. military in Baghdad, but are now fearful of flying from Oregon to Texas meet their relatives; legal funds for a Nazanin, an Iranian Ph.D. student who left her U.S.-based school to visit her family and is now stranded in Iran; legal funds to bring the Assali family who, after waiting 13 years for a US visa, arrived at the Philadelphia International Airport from Syria on January 28 and were immediately detained and put on a flight to Qatar then sent back to Damascus; and funds to help the St. Louis refugee community via Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church, which pays refugees airfare directly to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.   

12. Join A Non-Violent Protest March or Rally 
 Tens of thousands of people peacefully came together across the country and around the world last weekend to protest Trump’s illegal, anti-immigrant order. This was only the beginning.  We must fight to ensure that this executive order is permanently grounded and never becomes the law of our land. Coordinate a public rally, march, or walkathon. If you don’t have the time to coordinate an event, make a donation to those who do and keep an eye on social media for events you can attend. 

13. Sign Up To Help Refugees In Your Community
There are nine voluntary agencies that have cooperative agreements with the State Department to resettle refugees. Contact your local affiliate for one or several of the agencies on this list in order to contribute your time or resources. It’s even more important than ever to help refugees already in the United States to ensure that they feel welcome, safe, and cared for under the Trump administration. Furthermore, creating an enormous volunteer list of Americans willing to help refugees will be a direct affront to Trump’s executive order.

14. Make Immigrants Already In Your Community Feel Welcome
It is certainly a somewhat frightening time to be an immigrant in the United States. Take the initiative to make immigrants already living in your local community feel welcome and safe; get to know them, spend time together, and learn about each others’ cultures. One of the best ways Americans can fight the anti-immigrant rhetoric perpetuated by the executive order is to continuously embrace immigrants and ensure they fell welcome in the United States.

15. Open Your Home To Those Stranded, Stuck, Or Helping
Trump’s executive order has left many travelers stranded in the U.S. and abroad. If you are in a position to do so, consider offering immigrants and/or their families a place to stay. This applies to people abroad and in the United States. Furthermore, families of detained immigrants as well as lawyers seeking to assist these individuals would likely be open to staying in a place close to the airport for ease of access, so consider opening your home to them if you are in a location nearby.

16. Spread The Word About Immigrants’ & Refugees’ Rights
Use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to ensure that immigrants, refugees, and their families know their rights, particularly if they are planning to traveling to or from the United States anytime soon. Experts advise that arriving immigrants refuse to sign anything and insist on speaking to a lawyer. Families of immigrants being detained can also speak with some of the many lawyers currently installed for free in U.S. airports around the country. Additionally, current immigrants living in the United States are advised not to leave the country. The most commonly used hashtags across social are: #MuslimBan#NoBanNoWall#Resist, and #ResistTrump.

17. Share The Number For The Refugee Hotline
On January 29, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced via press release and Twitter that a 24/7 refugee hotline which allows New Yorkers to “report family members, relatives, friends or colleagues who they believe are passengers on flights coming into the state, but are missing or believed to be detained.” The toll free number for the hotline is 1-888-769-7243. Share the number widely, including on social media and at New York’s airports if you are a New York resident. Non-New York residents should request that their respective state congressional leaders or governors create a similar hotline or refugee network. 

18. Document & Share
If you go to an airport or rally, document the situation if possible. Things worthy of documenting include the location of the event (e.g., park, airport, courthouse, etc.);  name, nationalities, and native language of detainees; conversations with immigrant families (please ask for permission to record) or persons of authority, such airport security, US customs, or local law enforcement; and info regarding the number of attendees and their level of participation (e.g., 200 protesters, 42 police officers, 25 medical personnel, 12 lawyers, 9 translators, etc). You can also record your own experience or be a video eyewitness using a disposable camera, digital camera, or your phone. Information is power, and the more people that know about the damage being caused by Trump’s executive order, the larger the movement against it will become.

There is an urgent need to help all immigrants and refugees who are needlessly suffering from Trump’s misguided and unconstitutional executive order. Commit to doing as much as you can to assist those in need and protest the order. The goal is to make sure that Trump’s distorted, cruel, and hopeless vision of America never becomes our reality.  Thanks! 


Primary Sources:
Stephanie Williams, J.D. | International Human Rights Law Advocate – This is one of my fields of expertise.

Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States | Donald J. Trump (January 25, 2017) – Seeks to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities across the U.S.

Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States | Donald J. Trump (January 27, 2017) – Seeks to ban immigrants from 7 Islamic countries and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee resettlement act

A New Yorker’s Guide to Upcoming Protests Against Trump’s Executive Orders -By Madina Toure | Observer

13 Ways To Help Immigrants & Refugees Affected By Donald Trump’s Executive Order -By Sarah Friedmann | BUSTLE

10 Concrete Ways To Take Action Against The Muslim Ban -By Erin Schrode | Huffington Post

Starbucks Pledges to Hire 10,000 Refugees -By Jill Disis | CNN Money

More than 2,000 Religious Leaders Sign Letter Supporting Refugee Resettlement | Interfaith Immigration Coalition

The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050 | Pew Research Center

How Americans Feel About Religious Groups | Pew Research Center

Creating Fear: How American News Outlets Perpetuate Islamophobia -By Omeed Alidadi (Boston College) | Progress Me

Sanctuary City | Wikipedia

How Sanctuary Cities Work, and How Trump’s Executive Order Might Affect Them -By Darla Cameron | Washington Post

Sanctuary Cities Stand Firm Against Trump -By Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna | Politico

San Francisco Sues Trump Over Executive Order Targeting Sanctuary Cities -By Moura Dolan | Los Angeles Times

Why Cities Will Protect Immigrants -By Mayor Marty J. Walsh | CNN (OpEd)

Charles M. Blow: ‘No, Trump, Not On Our Watch!’

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When Barack Obama was in office — remember the good old days, just over a week ago, when we didn’t wake up every morning and wonder what new atrocity was emanating from the White House — Republicans were apoplectic about his use of executive orders. They called them “unilateral edicts” and “power grabs.” As Iowa Senator Charles Grassley once said in a floor speech: “The president looks more and more like a king that the Constitution was designed to replace.”

What a difference a week makes.

Now many of those Republicans are as quiet as church mice as Donald Trump pumps out executive orders at a fevered pitch, doing exactly what he said he’d do during the campaign, for all of those who were paying attention: advancing a white nationalist agenda and vision of America, whether that be by demonizing blacks in the “inner city,” Mexicans at the border or Muslims from the Middle East.

Trump’s America is not America: not today’s or tomorrow’s, but yesterday’s. Trump’s America is brutal, perverse, regressive, insular and afraid. There is no hope in it; there is no light in it. It is a vast expanse of darkness and desolation.

And that is a vision of America that most of the people in this country cannot and will not abide. That is a vision of America that has galvanized ordinary American citizens in opposition in a way that is almost without precedent. We are inching toward anarchy as both the people and the president refuse to back down.

Not only is Trump a literacy-lite, conspiracy-chasing, compulsively lying bigot, he is also a narcissistic workaholic who now wields the power of the presidency. You could not have conceived of a more dangerous combination of characteristics. He is the paragon of the clueless and an idol of the Ku Kluxers. Already, people feel deluged by a never-ending flood of national damage and despair. But Americans are not prone to suffering in silence. America’s period of mourning has ended; the time of anger and active opposition has dawned. The greatest two motivators of electoral activism in this country are a desire for change and durable fear: In Trump, those two are wed.

The most recent move to excite and outrage the opposition was Trump’s move to “indefinitely suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees and temporarily ban people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States,” according to a New York Times editorial.

The ban is nonsensical and likely unconstitutional, as well as chaotic and damaging to our national security interests.

As The Times noted Saturday: “Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, no one has been killed in the United States in a terrorist attack by anyone who emigrated from or whose parents emigrated from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the seven countries targeted in the order’s 120-day visa ban, according to Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina.”

The report continued: “There was a random quality to the list of countries: It excluded Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where the founders of Al Qaeda and many other jihadist groups have originated. Also excluded are Pakistan and Afghanistan, where persistent extremism and decades of war have produced militants who have occasionally reached the United States. Notably, perhaps, the list avoided Muslim countries where Mr. Trump has major business ventures.”

Furthermore, as CNN reported on Sunday, on Friday night the Department of Homeland Security decided that the restrictions “did not apply to people with lawful permanent residence, generally referred to as green card holders.”

The report continued, however: “The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout. That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon.”

Yes, that Steve Bannon, the one who was recruited to the Trump campaign from his job as executive chairman of Breitbart News and is now Trump’s chief strategist, the one who said of Breitbart to Mother Jones in July: “We’re the platform for the alt-right.” Alt-right is just a slick, euphemistic repackaging and relabeling of white nationalists, whether they be white separatists, white supremacists or actual Nazis.

Also, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, Trump added Bannon to the National Security Council while removing the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is outrageous. What does Bannon know about national security? It is becoming worrisome that in this reign of bigotry, Bannon may be the brain and Trump the brawn; Bannon the spiritual president and Trump the spurious packaging.

America will not stand for this, so if obsequious conservative politicians or lily-livered liberal ones won’t sufficiently stand up to this demagogic dictator, then the American people will do the job themselves.

Over the weekend, protesters spontaneously popped up at airports across the country to send an unambiguous message: Not in our name; not on our watch. It is my great hope that this will be a permanent motif of Trump’s term. If no one else is going to fight for American values, it falls to the American people themselves to do so. 

Reprint: No, Trump, Not on Our Watch -By Charles M. Blow | New York Times

Full Text of Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration & Refugees

exo-5(Image credits: Getty Images;  feat. ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ Poster by Shepard Fairey / ObeyGiant.com via Amplifier Foundation)

A Little Background – What in the Hell is Happening?
President Trump signed an executive order on Friday, January 27 at 4:42 p.m. ET titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” President Trump’s executive order on immigration indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the United States, suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, refugees or otherwise, from entering the United States for 90 days: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

After the order was signed, students, visitors and green-card-holding legal permanent United States residents from the seven countries — and refugees from around the world — were stopped at airports in the United States and abroad, including Cairo, Dubai and Istanbul. Some were blocked from entering the United States and were sent back overseas. The order unleashed chaos on the immigration system and in airports in the United States and overseas, prompting legal action.

On Saturday night, a federal judge in Brooklyn blocked part of Mr. Trump’s order, saying that refugees and others being held at airports across the United States should not be sent back to their home countries. But the judge stopped short of letting them into the country or issuing a broader ruling on the constitutionality of Mr. Trump’s actions.

Federal judges in three states — Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington — soon issued similar rulings to stop the government from removing refugees and others with valid visas. The judge in Massachusetts also said the government could not detain the travelers.

Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, said on Sunday that green card holders from the seven banned countries would not be prevented from returning to the United States “going forward.” That appeared to be a reversal from one of the order’s key components. Mr. Priebus also said that border agents had “discretionary authority” to subject any travelers, including American citizens, to additional questioning and scrutiny if they had been to any of the seven countries mentioned in the executive order.

United States Customs and Border Protection instructed airlines to stop passengers from the banned countries from boarding flights and to remove any who had already done so. Airline crew members from the seven named countries were also barred from the United States, it said. An official message was sent to American diplomatic posts around the world, instructing them to immediately stop visa interviews for citizens of the seven banned countries and to halt the processing or printing of any pending visas.

The order was widely condemned by Democrats, religious groups, business leaders, immigration policy experts, academics and others. Thousands of people protested the executive order in cities across the country on Saturday, many of them at airports. Those protests are ongoing, and a large rally was held outside the White House on Sunday, January 29.

Following is full text of Trump’s executive order, as provided by the White House.


Full Text: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.

Sec. 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.

(c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

(d) Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.

(e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.

(f) At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

(g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

(h) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 days of the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 4. Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs. (a) The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

(c) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.

(d) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

(f) The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.

(g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

Sec. 6. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility. The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

Sec. 7. Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order. Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security. (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.

(b) To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

Sec. 9. Visa Validity Reciprocity. The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.

Sec. 10. Transparency and Data Collection. (a) To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:

(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;

(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

(b) The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.

Sec. 11. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


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Full Text of the Ruling Blocking Trump’s Immigration Ban

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