Notes on Indivisible’s Emergency Call on the Muslim Ban

Indivisible, a nonprofit launched by liberal and progressive congressional staff in the wake of Trump’s victory, conducted an emergency call with over 25,000 individuals at 9 PM EST tonight on the Muslim Ban executive order. What follows is a summation of the 2 action points (because millennial reading habits) and detail notes and links to how they think citizens should respond.

Summary of Action Points

It is Indivisible’s position that citizens should focus on their Senators and encourage them to take the following actions until the Muslim Ban is openly opposed. 

  1. Withholding Consent– In order for the Senate to move on with its business, unanimous consent must be obtained by its members. If however, a single Senator objects, the Senate Majority Leader will be forced to enact various time-consuming procedures prior to engaging in debate on any other bill. The Ask: for any cabinet nomination coming up in Congress, citizens are asked to pressure their Senator to commit to withholding their consent until the Muslim Ban is openly opposed. Many Senators said they disagree with the Executive Order. This action asks the citizen to pressure their Senator to act on this opposition and slow down the nomination process. 
  2. No Justice No Bill – As cabinet nominations cannot be filibustered, Indivisible is asking citizens to pressure their Senators to filibuster every bill until this executive order is overturned. The Ask: Pressure your Senator to publicly state that Congress, as a whole, should not act on any legislation until they enact legislation regarding the Muslim Ban.

The Speakers

Ezra Levin, Moderator and Organizer, Indivisible

Betsy Fisher, Policy Director, International Refugee Assistant Project

Jonathan Blazer, Advocacy and Policy Counsel at ACLU

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Kamal Essaheb, National Immigration Law Center

Notes

Ezra opened the discussion and introduced Indivisible.

Indivisible is a nonprofit focusing on a local congressional strategy to counter the Trump regime. The purpose of the call was focused on Trumps recent executive order.

The call then progressed to the agenda.

What Friday’s Executive Order does by International Refugee Assistant Project.  

  • The executive order bans visa holders from 7 Muslim-majority countries for at least 90 days
  • Suspends the refugee program for 120 days
  • Indefinitely bars Syrian refugees particularly

What the litigation fight looks like by the ACLU

In the 3 days since the announcement of the executive order, multiple lawsuits have been filed. The big picture legal problem that these lawsuits are fighting is that the US cannot prohibit immigration based on religious discrimination. Although the regime states that this is not a Muslim Ban, Trump was very clear in December regarding their intentions. Additionally, Guliani recently stated that Trump had asked him how he could implement a legal, Muslim Ban.

The legal challenges began almost immediately on an emergency basis. Immigrants were refused the right to board their airplanes, those in transit were detained when reaching a port of entry and those interrogated were threatened with being sent back to war zones that they were escaping.

2 nationwide injunctions covered refugees, green card holders and valid visa holders at a US port of entry. The first case, Darwish v Trump in NY, resulted in a temporary injunction which forbids the US from sending refugees back until the court can rule further. The second case filed by ACLU in Massachusetts goes further and forbids the US against detaining and excessively interrogating individuals immigrating or visiting the US. This particular order is only in effect until February 5th. As a note, any individual entering the US is covered by these injunctions and should not be detained or overly screened and certainly not sent back.

Many other lawsuits have been filed and will be filed which seek to address additional issues, particularly those individuals stuck abroad.

Overview of on the ground impact and response by Asian Americans Advancing Justice

The impact of this executive order has been chaotic, fearful and confusing. After the executive order, returning Green Card holders were initially being detained (handcuffed and taken off of airplanes). However, public pressure has forced the regime to backtrack on this practice. In response, attorneys have began to camp out and volunteer at airports ensuring that individuals are not held without cause.

However, individuals detained lack of access to attorneys. Government policy does not allow for attorneys to speak to individuals during their secondary inspection.

On the point of the airport protests– attorneys and those detained have expressed the morale boost and motivation they receive by seeing these protests.

What this Executive Order means for the Trump Agenda by National Immigration Law Center

This executive order illustrates the impulsiveness and recklessness of the Trump regime. It indicates both a lack of empathy as well as understanding of the consequences of such actions. However, this is the beginning of the broader agenda of criminalizing and deporting immigrants.

Trump kicked off his campaign by stating that Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers and that the only way to solve this problem was to build a wall. He was consistent during the campaign and this is an implementation of that rhetoric.

The silver lining is that the Muslim Ban gave the citizens a peak behind the curtain. Citizens reacted immediately. This was clear at the airports, in the courts and on social media.

Trump signed two other orders last week which establish his immigration agenda.

  1. The first executive order bullies local police into becoming immigration officers as well super-sizing ICE and other border guards. In addition, this order freezes the hiring of immigration judges, thus purposely creating a backlog in the immigration process.
  2. Authorization was given for the construction of the border wall.

What is important to understand that these actions by the regime are a rallying point now for the resistance.

Local action by Indivisible 

It is Indivisible’s position that citizens should focus on their Senators and encourage them to take the following actions until the Muslim Ban is openly opposed.

  1. Withholding Consent– In order for the Senate to move on with its business, unanimous consent must be obtained by its members. If however, a single Senator objects, the Senate Majority Leader will be forced enact various time-consuming procedures prior to engaging in debate on any other bill. The Ask: for any cabinet nomination coming up in Congress, citizens are asked to pressure their Senator to commit to withholding their consent until the Muslim Ban is openly opposed. Many Senators said they disagree with the Executive Order. This action asks the citizen to pressure their Senator to act on this opposition and slow down the nomination process. 
  2. No Justice No Bill – As cabinet nominations cannot be filibustered, Indivisible is asking citizens to pressure their Senators to filibuster every bill until this executive order is overturned. The Ask: Pressure your Senator to publicly state that Congress, as a whole, should not act on any legislation until they enact legislation regarding the Muslim Ban.

The fight is not over.

Check back for a link to the recording.