By CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid
Farmington Hill, MI
The recent unanimous decision by three judges in the 9th circuit court blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order, or Muslim ban which prevented refugees and visa holders from entering America from seven Muslim majority countries, is a good sign for permanently overturning the order. Though many Americans of varying creeds and ethnicities continue to raise objections over this specific order, we must remain vigilant regarding other means in which he may attempt to bypass this ruling in the form of other future executive orders.
Beyond Mr. Trump, we should hold every elected official accountable, be they on the Right or Left, to take a stand against any laws or policies which violate the spirit of Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The clause is an American principle by our founders that none should be singled out upon public policy favoring certain religions to the exclusion of another. On one hand, the lukewarm reactions or silence from some elected officials is a betrayal to the values our nation. On the other hand, elected officials who favor the ban such as Michigan Attorney General Bill Schutte, an official who is responsible to uphold the Constitution, have a questionable fitness to hold public office in relation to enforcing equal protection under the law.
The legal challenges of the executive order will play out in court. It will no doubt make its way to the Supreme Court. This exemplifies the beauty of our governmental system which has checks and balances through the Judiciary Branch on the Executive Branch. However, beyond litigation from states and civil rights groups, Americans need to summon the moral courage to create a national moral compass in the face of anti-immigrant sentiments.
Our nation has witnessed a number of xenophobic laws and federal policies, from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Immigration Act of 1924, which blocked immigration from much of the Muslim world for 41 years, to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany that were blocked entry in 1939. We have said, "never again" to the bigoted exclusion of certain immigrants and refugees, yet our country repeats the same travesties.
We all need to stand together and proclaim to our elected officials that enough is enough of anti-immigrant and bigoted policies, such as President Trump's Muslim exclusion order, that harms the very soul of our nation.
(Permission allowed to print in publications)