February 6, 2017
Issue: Muslim Ban
American Muslim and Arab Professionals File Amicus Brief Against Muslim Ban
Today, on behalf of American Muslim and Arab organizations that represent doctors, scientists, engineers, business leaders, and other professionals, Muslim Advocates filed an amicus brief in support of the State of Washington’s case against President Trump’s Muslim Ban. The brief argues that Trump’s executive order unconstitutionally targets entire groups of people based on religion. Consequently, it harms American Muslim and Arab professionals who provide essential healthcare, education, legal and other services within the country and abroad. Signatories on the brief with Muslim Advocates are National Arab American Medical Association, American Muslim Health Professionals, Muslim Urban Professionals (MUPPIES), Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP), Network of Arab-American Professionals (NAAP), and Islamic Medical Association of North America.
“Trump’s attempt to close our borders means closing innovation, closing education, and closing access to healthcare, and no American can reasonably think that’s a good thing,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates. “Our nation benefits from the many experts who have traveled to America to treat patients, work at labs to find cures, and advance technology that impacts us all. Trump’s executive order is not only morally reprehensible and unconstitutional, but it also hurts millions of citizens who benefit from the work of professionals who would otherwise be allowed entry to the country.”
The amicus brief in part states: “The Executive Order is unconstitutional on a number of grounds including because its evident purpose and effect is animus toward Muslims. The Government would have this Court ignore the ample evidence of this unconstitutional purpose in deference to what the Government characterizes as an “unreviewable authority of the President to suspend the admission of any class of aliens.” To do so, however, would be an abdication of the judicial branch’s unique role in protecting suspect classes from unlawful and discriminatory treatment at the hands of the executive branch.”
“People who drafted this executive order do not seem to understand how intricately the health care system is intertwined with immigration policies,” said Dr. Basim A. Dubaybo, president of National Arab American Medical Association. “Much of the health care delivered in rural and urban settings depends on the 25% of the dedicated physicians who are international medical graduates. Health care in most hospitals in the United States depends on trainees, many of whom are immigrants. If this executive order stands, our healthcare system, especially in underserved communities, will be irreparably damaged and its cost will be an even greater fraction of our GDP.”
“The entry ban will add to the stress and trauma already experienced by all groups at risk for discrimination, not just Muslims,” said Faseeha K Altaf, vice president of American Muslim Health Professionals. “As stated by two international medical graduates in the New England Journal of Medicine, the uncertain future “undermines confidence in the healthcare system and potentially erodes the trust that physicians have established with their patients.” Immigration and the American healthcare system are intimately tied, and the entry ban will impede the exchange of health scholarship and training in connection to many countries and the provision of care in the United States.”
In a statement, the MUPPIES executive board said, “MUPPIES represents an engaged group of Muslim professionals that believe immigrants and refugees are an integral part of the U.S. economy, adding over $1 trillion to the USA’s GDP. Muslims contribute to the fabric of the US in diverse ways, such as driving innovation, creating new opportunities for employment, and promoting excellence through diversity and inclusion. We oppose any policy that results in a reduction of opportunity and inclusion for any individuals or groups.”
“Our nation is a better place today because of its rich history of welcoming immigrants,” said Salima Suswell, national diversity director of Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals. “CAMP members are committed to excelling in their respective professions and making meaningful contributions to society, and this ban stops many of our members from serving communities across the country. Banning immigrants because of their religion is wrong, un-American and hurts us all.”
“We at NAAP are appalled at the President’s EO that clearly targets Muslims from 7 Muslim majority countries,” said Tarek H. Abu Jabarah, president of Network of Arab-American Professionals. “Such a blanket ban is discriminatory in nature, and only serves to divide the country, not strengthen it. We are at our best when we embrace diversity and all immigrants and refugees that are seeking a better life in the US. This is why we joined the other organizations in signing this brief, and will continue to call for the reversal of the ban.”
The amicus brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in support of the State of Washington v Donald Trump. Muslim Advocates will continue to seek every legal avenue to challenge discriminatory and undemocratic laws and actions.