Muslim Advocates’ Statement on FOIA Request on “Extreme Vetting” and Possible Muslim Ban Expansion

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Johnathan Smith, legal director at Muslim Advocates, regarding yesterday’s FOIA request sent to the State Department and the Trump Administration seeking the release of detailed information regarding several important but often overlooked provisions of the Muslim Ban Executive Order: “extreme vetting” policies targeting certain visa applicants and a worldwide review of visa vetting and screening processes to identify additional countries to add to the list of targeted countries.  The FOIA request was submitted by Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia. For booking, please contact Scott Simpson at [email protected] or Nicky Vogt at [email protected].

“The Trump administration has demonstrated a clear commitment to implementing President Trump’s long-promised Muslim ban and a willingness to circumvent the courts, the Constitution, and the people’s will. Their latest efforts – which include trying to cement immigrant and refugee travel restrictions and the creation of an “extreme vetting” regime – amount to a surreptitious implementation of a Muslim Ban outside the spotlight of court cases and media attention.

We must remain vigilant. Through this FOIA request, we intend to hold this Administration accountable and protect the rights of all to live free from unlawful discrimination and harassment.”

Earlier this week, Muslim Advocates published an op-ed in the NYTimes decrying the Trump Administration’s efforts to create a backdoor Muslim Ban, available here.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.