CAIR-CA’s offices responded to over 1,000 immigration intakes in 2020. Community members were often concerned and sometimes panicked by incessant changes and reversals in U.S. immigration policies pertaining to family reunification and asylum/refugee protections.
In response, we provided affirmative representation for immigration benefits including naturalization, adjustment of status, asylum, family-based petitions, and relief under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) and expanded our services to provide representation in removal defense hearings. Additionally, our immigration attorneys represented clients in dire circumstances to assess and apply for additional forms of humanitarian relief, such as visas for victims of human trafficking (“T visa”), victims of certain criminal activity (“U visa”), and Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) self-petitioners.
CAIR-CA assisted community members with their citizenship applications so that they could secure the rights of U.S. citizenship that have long eluded immigrants and refugees. In 2020, the Trump administration attempted to implement significant application fee increases. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel bans implemented by the Trump administration resulted in an anticipated 60% drop in citizenship applications and nearly brought the immigration system to a shuddering halt.1
In response, CAIR-CA’s attorneys submitted public comments opposing the efforts to curb all forms of immigration, especially as to lowincome immigrants.2 Despite the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted consistent outreach through virtual citizenship drives and clinics to increase the number of naturalization applicants served. A vast amount of our immigration departments’ efforts were focused on informing prospective applicants about the requirements of naturalization and providing legal representation as they navigated the process. As the stories below illustrate, CAIR-CA’s immigration departments offered one-on-one attorney assistance to green card holders eligible for naturalization at no charge.
In one instance, CAIR-LA was able to assist a Muslim woman of Pakistani origin residing in Orange County navigate the complex maze of immigration rules and procedural impediments so she could leave a harrowing marriage. Having been married in Pakistan and having survived abuse during the early years of her relationship, the client set aside her fears and relocated to the U.S. with her young daughter in hopes of mending her marriage. Unfortunately, the added physical proximity led to increased episodes of abuse. The client’s spouse leveraged his financial clout to control her access to their joint finances and imposed restrictions on her ability to get to safety. Fed up with the danger to her life, the client reported the physical abuse to law enforcement. The client was forced to retract the report due to threats made by her then-husband who used her conditional immigration status to manipulate her into silence. It was at that moment in 2019 that the client turned to us for assistance to remove the conditions on her permanent resident status.
CAIR-LA’s immigration attorneys worked diligently to file the application that was approved in June 2019, thereby easing her worries of returning to Pakistan where she might have been further harmed by her spouse’s family. The client became eligible for naturalization in 2020, and CAIR-LA’s attorneys represented her before USCIS by ensuring that her narratives and documentation were accurate before filing her citizenship application. While the pandemic and the Trump administration’s bureaucratic stifling of USCIS led to delays, the client had an interview with USCIS in early February of this year. CAIR-LA’s attorney attended her interview to ensure issues related to her previous application did not further delay the approval of her application. This prompt advocacy resulted in USCIS approving the client’s naturalization application on the same day as the interview. The client was extremely thankful for our representation during the entire process as will ensure that she does not have to look over her shoulder constantly and that she can continue building a better life for her daughter and herself.
In a story central to CAIR-CA’s immigration advocacy work, CAIR-LA’s attorneys represented an elderly woman of Afghan origin who had been living in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident since 1989. As a non-native English speaker, the woman attempted to naturalize four times but was denied because of her inability to pass the English language and civics exams. Desperate to avoid being locked out of the opportunity to naturalize, she turned to CAIR-LA for assistance in 2020. While the client was now exempt from demonstrating her English language proficiency due to her age and presence in the U.S., she would still be required to pass the civics exam.
Having resubmitted her application for naturalization in 2019, CAIR-LA made additional efforts to help the client prepare for the second attempt this past July. An attorney represented the client at her in-person interview via phone due to pandemic restrictions. To everyone’s relief and delight, at the end of the interview, the client’s naturalization application was approved, and she was able to take her oath of allegiance.
CAIR-SV/CC’s immigration attorneys worked with an Afghan couple in filing their naturalization applications after a circuitous journey to the U.S. The couple had entered the U.S. on Special Immigrant Visas, which are available to individuals who provided service to the U.S. government, while being employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. The couple worked with the U.S. government in Afghanistan as translators on dangerous assignments that placed their lives at risk. Doing so however, placed a target on the family, thereby ensuring that they would not be able to live a full life in Afghanistan without having to look over their shoulders. Congress passed laws allowing Afghan nationals such as this couple to immigrate to the U.S. as permanent residents owing to the life-threatening nature of their work.3 While this should have ensured a smooth and fair path for permanent residents to eventually become naturalized citizens pending residency and character requirements, the couple faced multiple delays.
In 2020, the couple were eligible for citizenship having met all ostensible requirements, yet their naturalization interview was abruptly canceled without explanation or reason a few days before their scheduled date. The worried couple contacted CAIR-SV/CC, whose attorneys immediately represented the couple and made inquiries as to the reasons for the cancellation and delays. Our immigration attorneys prepared detailed documents outlining the couple’s eligibility for naturalization and ensured repeated follow ups leading to USCIS scheduling an interview shortly thereafter. Having passed the interview and taken their oath, the newly minted U.S. citizens were overjoyed at the realization that they would now be able to participate in one of our most cherished rights, voting in a U.S. election for the first time.
With global migration patterns reaching unprecedented levels, and as political turbulence and economic deprivation force individuals into precarious situations, CAIR-CA’s immigration attorneys have frequently found themselves having to counsel and guide community members who were the target of violence, often at the hands of loved ones. The COVID-19 pandemic added further complications as non-citizen targets of violence – as well as witnesses who bravely stepped out of the shadows to play a role in our justice system – were at a heightened risk of being detained or deported. Immigrant survivors of violence already encounter barriers to accessing services, employment, and government assistance. These inequities have only been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In one such instance, CAIR-SFBA’s immigration attorneys were contacted in 2019 by an Afghan national seeking assistance with her immigration status. The client married her fiancé shortly after arriving in the U.S. and he filed a green card petition on her behalf. Though the client’s husband was initially loving and attentive, that changed during the first few months of their marriage. The client regularly endured horrific verbal, emotional, and physical abuse at the hands of her husband while he also threatened to withhold her green card application. Our immigration attorneys worked diligently in assisting the client to pursue her green card application without her abusive spouse’s knowledge. The attorneys assisted the client by helping her obtain records, representing her at an interview with USCIS, and advocating for her to be granted the green card absent her spouse’s presence due to the abuse she suffered. Six months after the USCIS interview, the client received her approval notice for the green card, guaranteeing her ability to build an independent life for herself absent the fear that surrounded her during her brief marriage.
In another case, CAIR-SV/CC was contacted by the family of an undocumented minor from Mexico who had to leave the country at an early age due to violence she experienced in her hometown of Calico City. The client entered the U.S. as a minor but did not meet the age requirements of temporary humanitarian relief programs such as DACA. Once in the U.S., the client unfortunately faced sexual abuse at the hands of a family member who preyed on her age and lack of immigration status. As someone who was undocumented and aware of the terrifying raids that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents would conduct separating adults from children, the client was terrified of being turned over to ICE and deported to Mexico if she reported the incidents to law enforcement.4
Upon reaching out to CAIR-SV/CC’s immigration attorneys, the client was informed that reporting the alleged crimes to law enforcement, while tricky, could potentially ensure her safety while ensuring that the individual involved was held responsible for his actions. The immigration attorneys determined the client would be best suited for a U visa, a nonimmigrant status that is available to victims of certain crimes who suffer mental or physical abuse including sexual violence and are helpful to law enforcement or government agencies in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes.
Our legal staff worked closely with the client to prepare a narrative about her experiences and gather medical data and other evidence of the harm she had suffered. They also reached out to the relevant police department to obtain the necessary certification and drafted a legal memorandum to accompany the application explaining how the client was eligible for, and deserving of, the visa. If granted the U-Visa, she will be able to legally live in the U.S. for four years. During that time, she could apply for a green card to stay in the U.S. permanently, thereby providing her with future educational and employment opportunities that are often denied to undocumented communities. The case is currently pending adjudication before USCIS.
CAIR-LA’s immigration attorneys provided legal assistance in a case involving a young woman who came to the U.S. on a student visa with bright hopes for her future. While a student at an East Coast college, she met and fell in love with her future husband. After marriage, the couple moved to California in February 2020 so her husband could begin his new job. Isolated and in unfamiliar surroundings, the client faced abuse at her husband’s hands. As the pandemic forced an end to social life, the increased proximity resulted in the client becoming a frequent target of her spouse’s verbal and physical attacks. As they spent time together in quarantine, she noticed a shift in his mood and an increasing reliance on alcohol and drugs. After her husband lost his job, there was an escalation in violence toward her that resulted in repeated law enforcement interventions.
Determined to protect herself and move on from the horrific treatment she had endured, the client was able to receive a permanent restraining order after multiple temporary restraining orders failed to ensure her safety. Upon leaving her husband, she was unable to find or afford the legal assistance she needed to secure her immigration status. As a last resort the woman reached out to CAIR-LA for representation and our immigration attorneys worked closely with her to file a VAWA petition that would allow her to obtain a green card, thereby guaranteeing that she could remain in the U.S. While the petition was filed in December 2020 and is currently pending adjudication, the client can stay in the U.S. legally and build a better life for herself.
In another year of attacks by the Trump administration on immigrant families, CAIR-CA immigration attorneys ramped up their representation of individuals facing the haunting specter of deportation or detention. The global COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the already unacceptable health and sanitation conditions for incarcerated individuals in prisons and detention facilities across California. Advocacy groups and elected officials called on Governor Newsom to immediately stop the transfer of individuals recently released from local and state jails and demanded that they be reunited with their family members as opposed to being deported.5 Various investigations have revealed that detainees in immigration detention facilities, usually operated through an agreement between private contractors and ICE, face delayed medical care, an inability to practice effective social distancing, and lack access to cleaning supplies or disinfectant.6
In this distressing context, CAIR-SV/CC’s immigration attorneys were approached by a Sunni man who had fled persecution in Pakistan, based on his marriage to a Shia woman. The couple fled their home in Lahore and moved several times in search of security. Newly pregnant and knowing they would not be safe in the country, the couple decided to flee to the U.S. Making their way through South and Central American nations, they arrived at the southern border tired and disheveled. After presenting themselves to U.S. Customs & Border Patrol (“CBP”) agents, the couple was taken into ICE custody. Shortly after, the client’s wife was released because of her pregnancy while he remained imprisoned. To add to the family’s predicament, the client also struggled with Fahr’s Syndrome – a neurological disorder that affects areas of the brain that control movement. This caused him to experience recurring strokes and painful episodes of limbic pain, resulting in his placement on the suicide watch list. As is common for individuals placed in immigration detention, the client was denied access to necessary medical treatment as his symptoms worsened while also being placed in solitary confinement.
Our attorneys worked hard to ensure that the client received prompt medical care and represented him in removal proceedings. Losing would place the client at risk of deportation to Pakistan where he feared violence. IRC attorneys stepped into this case, among others, to prevent the Trump administration’s fast-track deportation process, known as expedited removal. Over the past few years, ICE agents have unilaterally questioned, arrested, detained, and deported undocumented immigrants – encountered anywhere in the country - who have been in the U.S. for less than two years.7 Currently, IRC attorneys are working to petition immigration judges to set aside his order of removal and allow the family to apply for other forms of immigration relief - such as asylum - available in cases like this one.
In another notable case, CAIR-LA’s immigration attorneys stepped in to represent a Muslim family who fled Myanmar in 2019 following heightened persecution against religious minorities, particularly Muslims. Upon arriving in the U.S., the family immediately applied for asylum so they would not be forced to return to the horrific conditions they had faced in Myanmar. Unfortunately, USCIS denied their asylum claim and their case was quickly referred to immigration court for removal proceedings, potentially owing to translation errors and inability to present sufficient evidence. The Myanmar government and regional law enforcement tacitly supported brazen attacks by turning a blind eye and offering no protection in the wake of hate crimes committed against Muslim-owned businesses and mosques. In one incident, the husband’s business was the target of such attacks and was met with silence when he complained to local law enforcement. Additionally, the wife endured years of mistreatment and harassment at the hands of her family because she had converted from Buddhism to Islam and intended to raise her child as a Muslim. Her family refused to respect her decision to follow Islam by accusing her of being manipulated into becoming Muslim by her husband.
Fearing for their lives, the family reached out to CAIR-LA’s immigration attorneys for representation in immigration court. Our immigration staff worked to bolster their application with supplemental evidence of the harm and risk of persecution the family would face because of their religious beliefs, if they were not allowed to remain in the U.S. With Myanmar’s military seizing power from the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, there is a groundswell of concern that Muslim communities in and around Myanmar, including Rohingyas, will face an increase in state sanctioned violence, in addition to stalled repatriation of impacted communities.8 As of this writing, the family resides safely in the U.S. pending a hearing scheduled for 2022.
CAIR-CA attorneys and advocates have continued to oppose attacks on procedural and substantive protections for refugees and asylees, often the most silenced and vulnerable members of our communities.
In this context, CAIR-CA opposed the Trump administration’s proposed asylum rule that would require all asylum seekers to file highly technical asylum applications within 15 days of their first court hearing. The proposed rule changes would have represented a near insurmountable barrier for asylum seekers, especially for those in detention centers, without language access or competent counsel to effectively represent them.9 In a submitted public comment, CAIR-CA attorneys argued that requiring immigration judges to complete cases 180 days after filing of asylum applications would come at the cost of fairness to asylum seekers, who would likely be unable to make strong showings of their eligibility for asylum relief. 10 Additionally, during asylum adjudications, an immigration judge could potentially introduce his or her own evidence or discount the nongovernmental information supplied by an asylum seeker, raising the risk of rejection.11 These rule proposals are a mere snapshot of the many attempts by the Trump administration to gut the asylum policies that have ordinarily protected asylum seekers.
Despite these attempts to make it difficult for asylum seekers to obtain approval of their applications, CAIR-LA’s immigration attorneys were able to assist a Bengali Muslim man who fled Myanmar after being attacked by the government’s paramilitary forces and members of the Patriotic Association of Myanmar, a hyper nationalist organization who have been accused of attacking Muslim communities in the country. 12Institutionalized anti-Muslim discrimination and persecution often lead to citizenship denial and exclusion from census counts, among other human rights concerns.13 Despite accusations of genocide by the international community and human rights groups, the Myanmar government and its military forces once again ramped up the killings of innocent civilians through air and military strikes, deepening a conflict that has forced over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.14
CAIR-LA’s client, a practicing Muslim, met and fell in love with a Buddhist Burmese woman who, along with her family, insisted that he change his religion so that they could have a future together. Upon voicing his objection, he was approached by the woman’s uncle and several members of the hyper-nationalist Burmese group who physically assaulted and threatened him against the marriage because he was a Muslim. Keenly aware of the government’s complicity in the violence against Muslims, he decided to flee Myanmar and join some of his family in the U.S. on a tourist visa. Once in the U.S., the client’s uncle advised him to immediately contact CAIR-LA for legal assistance with his asylum application. After asking for protection from the frenzied vigilante groups and the violent Burmese military, CAIR-LA’s immigration attorneys prepared documentation of the significant threat of lynching and torture he would face in Myanmar, drafted a detailed declaration, and prepared him for his asylum interview. A CAIR-LA attorney attended the interview with the client and advocated for his eligibility for asylum. To his relief, the client was approved for asylum in January of 2020 and can now safely remain in the U.S. and practice Islam without fear of oppression.
In another compelling story, CAIR-SFBA’s immigration attorneys were approached by a Yemeni man who fled Yemen in the wake of the ongoing civil war and humanitarian crisis. Residing in Sanaa, he was approached by Houthi rebels who requested his support and assistance in the war against the Yemeni government and then-president, Mr. Ali Abdullah Saleh. He refused to allow the Houthi rebels to use his neighborhood as a base during their conflict. To his dismay, the Houthi rebels were able to defeat the pro-government forces and forcibly take control of his neighborhood. Fearing that his refusal to assist the rebels in their cause meant that his life was in danger, he decided to leave for the U.S. immediately to seek refuge. The client presented himself promptly to CBP agents and affirmatively asked for protection from his pursuers in Yemen. Our immigration attorneys worked to prepare documentation evidencing the significant threats to his life and livelihood in Yemen. While the client is waiting for a hearing on his asylum application, he is also able to work and support himself, thanks to our immigration attorneys who assisted him with obtaining a work permit.
CAIR-CA immigration teams have continued representing Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (“AMEMSA”) community members who face long delays when applying for immigration benefits that they would be ordinarily entitled to. Generally, USCIS officers are required to adjudicate naturalization applications within four months of conducting a citizenship interview, yet large numbers of AMEMSA communities’ members often get swept up by the dragnet that is the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (“CARRP”).15
In 2008, USCIS first implemented CARRP to ensure that immigration benefits were not granted to individuals that supposedly posed a threat to national security. Data obtained from the government shows that between April 2008 and January 2016, USCIS opened nearly 42,000 CARRP cases, with the top five countries represented being Muslim majority nations, namely: Pakistan, Iraq, India, Iran, and Yemen.16 However, the program has been found to often rely on deeply problematic mechanisms such as watchlists, no-fly lists, and other security checks that often profile individuals based on markers such as race, religion, and national origin. Moreover, in violation of First Amendment and Due Process protections, CARRP does not provide applicants notice of their designation and does not allow these applicants an opportunity to refute such allegations.
CAIR-CA attorneys routinely challenge USCIS and DHS’s unreasonable delays in deciding immigration applications by filing writs of mandamus in federal court. A writ is a petition to the court to order the relevant government official, such as the Director of USCIS, to properly fulfill their official duties.
In 2020, CAIR-SFBA’s immigration attorneys filed four writs of mandamus in federal court to help move clients’ immigration applications forward. One such case involved a Uyghur woman who applied for naturalization in 2017 and was interviewed by USCIS in 2019 but was still awaiting a decision on her case. Running out of answers, the woman reached out to CAIR-SFBA hoping to learn the reasons behind USCIS’ lengthy delay. After reviewing her immigration history including past immigration applications, our attorneys decided to file a writ of mandamus in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to compel USCIS to either approve or deny her naturalization application, which would get her out of the limbo that she was stuck in.
This client’s case, like those involving other individuals of Uyghur Muslim origin, required immediate attention given that members of the Uyghur community in China have been targeted through an over-broad, anti- Muslim program of “de-extremification” which includes measures such as banning certain Muslim baby names, torture, and political indoctrination in “reeducation camps” aimed at erasing religious identity under the guise of counterradicalism.17
This client had already received asylum because of her ethnic background and religious beliefs. The delay in her naturalization application was particularly harmful for her as it prevented her from being able to petition for her parents, who were still in China and being threatened by the Chinese government because of her activism. She received video messages from the Chinese government threatening to harm her father and demanding that she return to China.
After the writ of mandamus was filed, USCIS agreed to consider and approve the application immediately. Success in these types of situations ensures that community members can live full lives in the U.S. without looking over their shoulder and extend a helping hand to vulnerable family members worldwide, where needed.
Public pressure and CAIR-CA’s proactive representation bear fruit in cases where humanitarian reasons compel decision makers to act favorably despite the usual cruelty of the immigration system. CAIR-SFBA immigration attorneys were instrumental in reuniting Raghad Saleh, a 10-year-old Yemeni girl, with her family after she was stranded in Egypt for over a month because of the Muslim Ban and the closure of consular visa services due to COVID-19.18
Over the past few years, Raghad’s father, Mr. Abo Bakr Saleh, a green card holder, petitioned for his entire family including Raghad’s mother and her siblings to come to the U.S. to join him. The family left their home country of Yemen due to the ongoing civil war and traveled to Egypt to attend their interview at the U.S. Embassy there. While the family’s interview went well and they all hoped to receive their visas shortly, the Trump administration issued a ban on most immigrant visas during the COVID-19 outbreak.19 The entire Saleh family was informed that their visas were issued and ready to be picked up in March except for Raghad's. While the U.S. Embassy in Cairo promised to fix this significant oversight, the Trump administration’s suspension of immigrant visa services prevented any further action by the embassy. Raghad’s mother’s and siblings’ visas were set to expire in early July, so they had no choice but to leave Raghad behind with their neighbors.20 This separation deeply distressed Raghad’s family, who would have otherwise been forced to return to war-torn Yemen.
Distraught, the family reached out to the Yemeni American Association who along with CAIR-SFBA brought attention to Raghad’s predicament. CAIR-SFBA promptly contacted the family’s congressional representative, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California’s 12th congressional district, and worked closely with her staff to pressure the State Department to demand the expedited admittance of her constituent’s daughter. As a result of this advocacy, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued Raghad a visa to the U.S., where she now resides with her family.
CAIR-LA’s immigration attorneys were able to assist a community member with leukemia who needed a bone marrow transplant. When the client’s doctor provided her with tests to determine if any of her eight siblings were a match, she found that her older brother – an Ethiopian national - was a match. The brother immediately applied for a visitor visa to come to the aid of his sister in the U.S., but his visa application was repeatedly denied. Frustrated and running out of time, the client turned to CAIR-LA for assistance. Our immigration attorneys submitted a humanitarian parole request for her brother based on her urgent medical need, a last resort option granted to foreign nationals whose entry would be a significant public benefit. CAIR-LA worked directly with the client’s medical team to quickly gather all the documentation needed to file the request. Within three months of filing the application for the client, her brother’s request for humanitarian parole was approved. Fortunately, the client’s brother arrived just before the travel restrictions that were imposed. We are pleased to report that the client was able to undergo a successful bone marrow transplant and her brother is still in the U.S. assisting with her recovery.
The Day One repeal of the Muslim Ban by the incoming Biden administration was a culmination of years of mass resistance to the separation of tens of thousands of families based on their national origin and religious beliefs. Effective beginning January 20, 2021, the Muslim Ban was rescinded, but the impact on our community remains. CAIR-CA will continue to advocate for just and humane immigration policies to ameliorate the impact of the anti- Muslim animus ingrained in the immigration system.21
The proclamation repealing the Ban directs the State Department to submit a report regarding individuals whose applications are being considered for waivers under the Bans and a plan for expediting such applications. It also includes a proposal to ensure that previously denied visa applications under the Bans are reconsidered and creation of policies to ensure that visas are not denied in the future solely because of these previous denials.22 President Biden has also committed to a much-needed review of the effectiveness of the “extreme vetting” procedures put in place by the prior administration. Under extreme vetting procedures, the U.S. government required all individuals applying for visas to submit information about their social media accounts, their siblings, their work, employment, and travel history for the past fifteen years.23
In years past, CAIR-SFBA as a founding member of the No Muslim Ban Ever Campaign, has led the fight against the various iterations of the Muslim Ban imposed by the Trump administration. CAIR-SFBA’s advocacy has particularly focused on the waiver process, which permitted certain individuals deemed non-threatening by consular officials to be granted a waiver to come to the U.S. despite the ban. However, the purported waiver process lacked transparency and left many families separated. Thus, for thousands of individuals and families indefinitely separated by the Muslim Ban, the waiver provision has, as a practical matter, amounted to nothing more than an empty promise. In July 2018, CAIR-SFBA along with its partners, the National Immigration Law Center (“NILC”), Asian Americans Advancing Justice- Asian Law Caucus (“AAAJ-ALC”), the Iranian American Bar Association, Lane Powell PC, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, filed a federal class action lawsuit that sought to hold the Trump administration accountable for its failure to implement a good-faith, lawful, and constitutional waiver process that would allow individuals who qualify for waivers to be issued visas.24
The lawsuit, PARS Equality Center, et al. v. Pompeo, et al., sought to shed light on how the government’s waiver process was so arbitrary in its application that it made it impossible for attorneys and impacted families to predict the outcome of visa applications. In June 2020, Judge James Donato issued an order denying the Government’s Motion for Summary Judgement or Motion to Dismiss the case. Judge Donato sustained Plaintiff’s claims under the Administrative Proceedings Act and the Accardi doctrine, which directs administrative agencies to follow their own regulations, policies and procedures or risk having their actions invalidated if challenged in court. The judge dismissed Plaintiffs Due Process claim under the Fifth Amendment. Despite the rescission of the Muslim Ban, some of CAIR-SFBA’s clients denied visas because of the Ban have not been issued visas as of the drafting of this report and thus, litigation is ongoing in this case.
To ensure that his executive order and the rollbacks of Trump’s immigration policies endure, President Biden should work closely with Congress to pass the National Origin-Based Anti-discrimination for Nonimmigrants (“No Ban Act”), supported by CAIR, NILC, AAAJ-ALC, and MPower Change, which would essentially limit present and succeeding executive branches from abusing the Immigration and Nationality Act to enact the Muslim Ban among other discriminatory policies.25 The bill’s anti-discrimination clause would ensure that there would be no loopholes that could be exploited and that any future restrictions on immigration are fully supported by evidence, properly tailored to serve legitimate government purposes, and subject to Congressional and judicial oversight.26As of July 2020, the No Ban Act had been passed by the House with bipartisan support.