Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Johnathan Smith, legal director of Muslim Advocates, following an exclusive report from Reuters’ Yeganeh Torbati and Mica Rosenberg that the waiver provisions promised in the Muslim ban have been hardly implemented at all. According to the article, “as of Feb. 15  only two of the initial month’s applicants had been approved for the waivers…” with only minimal improvement since then:
While this data is staggering, it unfortunately affirms what we’ve known: the waivers process is a farce that does not provide anyone with a meaningful path to entering the United States.
In January, we, alongside our colleagues at the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed a FOIA request seeking information about the waiver process under the Proclamation. Unfortunately, none of the agencies have responded to our request.
Late last year, we, alongside our colleagues at Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Southern Poverty Law Center, also sued the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies for failing to release critically important details about how waivers were adjudicated under the second Muslim Ban.
Based on the Reuters report, it’s clear that these waivers, purported to be the only way for anyone from the banned countries to enter the United States, are just a sham meant to trick the American people. The government continues to ban millions of Muslims from seeing their family and loved ones and from seeking job and educational opportunities in the United States.
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.