Muslim Ban / Registry

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This is a collaborative knowledge base; feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.

How You Can Resist
How You Can Resist

  • Call your Senator and US Representative by dialing tel:844-6-RESIST and tell them to support legislation overturning the Muslim ban. To learn what your representatives have said about the original order, click here.
  • Find out when your Senators and US Representative are holding town halls and other Upcoming Events/Opportunities.
  • Check our Crisis Resources for organizations devoted to legal help and resistance of the Muslim ban.
  • Click here to find an organization looking for volunteers.

Recent Updates

If your nationality is one of those affected by the ban, DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SIGN AN I-407, as this will invalidate your status in the United States. Seek guidance from an immigration lawyer before any travel plans.

General Updates to the Travel Ban

  • 5/14/17: As a candidate, Trump recruited Rudy Giuliani to create a travel ban that was legally acceptable. Trump's earlier call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims" received criticism.[1] U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts ordered the Trump administration to turn over the memo that Giuliani wrote to Trump by May 19. This is to find out if the travel ban was religiously motivated and targeting Muslims on purpose.[2]
  • 5/8/17: The Trump Administration insists the travel ban is not a "Muslim ban." Press Secretary Sean Spicer was then asked why the Trump Administration’s website, as of May 8th, still included a 2015 press release calling for “preventing Muslim immigration” if the travel ban is in fact not religiously driven. The press release was promptly deleted from the website after this question [3]. However, though the information was deleted, the link is still live and reads "Donald J. Trump's Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration".

General Updates to the Electronic Device Ban

  • 5/10/17: The Department of Homeland Security is considering banning laptops and other electronic devices from carry-on bags on flights from Europe to the United States. This measure would expand the existing ban from March that bans large electronics on carry-ons that affected airports in Muslim-majority countries. This ban is still in its planning phase, and no date that it would go into effect has been released yet. [4].

Updates to Lawsuits

  • 5/15/17: The 9th Circuit Court in Seattle is the second court to look at the revised ban [5]. It was live streamed and can be watched here.
    • On one side (the Government): Insists Trump's campaign remarks about Muslims does not mean this ban targets Muslims
    • On the other side (the state of Hawaii): Insists Trump has never clarified, and instead said more, controversial statements about Muslims
  • 5/8/17: The 4th Circuit Court in Virginia is the first court to look at the revised ban [6]. Audio of the hearing can be found here.
    • On one side (the Administration): Insists it is not a religiously driven Muslim ban and instead is meant to protect national security
    • On the other side (the ACLU): Insists it targets Muslims, citing Trump campaign rhetoric
    • The states that have criticized the revised ban in a brief filed in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are: Virginia, Maryland, California, Oregon, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Iowa, Vermont, Maine, Washington, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C. [7]
  • Either the 9th Circuit or 4th Circuit cases are expected to go to the Supreme Court [8].

Actions Taken by the Federal Government
Laws Proposed by Congress

Legislative Actions

Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice

  • S248 would block implementation of an executive order that restricts individuals from certain countries from entering the US.
    link= S248

  • Protect American Family Act (S54) would prohibit the creation of a registry program that classifies people on the basis of religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, nationality, or citizenship.

  • HR 1006 guarantees legal counsel to individuals detained while trying to enter the US. The bill would require Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to provide access to counsel to non-citizens, who currently do not have a right to be represented by an attorney unless the target of a criminal investigation.[9]

  • S 274 repeals Trump's Muslim ban executive order.

Trump / GOP Strategy
Trump / GOP Muslim Ban

A revised version of the executive order was released on March 6 and is to go into effect at 12:01AM EST on March 16. The original executive order will be revoked as of March 16.

  • This revised order affects only issuing new visas. No visas will be revoked solely because of this order, nor does it apply to green card holders or visa holders.[10]
  • Iraqi citizens are not affected by this revised order as a result of negotiations from the Government of Iraq and the Department of State. There will be 90-day suspension of foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen who did not have a valid visa as of January 27, 2017 at 5PM EST. During this time, the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security will examine individuals from these six countries on a case-by-case basis, allowing them only if their entry is of “national interest.” [11]
  • Syrian refugees are no longer banned indefinitely. There will be a 120-day suspension of the Refugee Admissions Program to ensure people admitted “do not pose a security risk to the United States.” During this time, the Secretary of State and Department of Homeland Security will admit individuals on a case-by-case basis, assuming their entry is of “national interest.” After this 120-day period, no more than 50,000 refugees will be admitted during the 2017 fiscal year. [12]
  • This revised order calls for new screening and vetting protocols. Until the assessment of screening procedures regarding visa and refugee admissions are completed, the Administration considers admitting an individual from one of the six countries "too dangerous," unless approved on a case-by-case basis.[13]
  • 15 states stand by the ban as constitutional and have filed an amicus brief (a "friend of the court" briefing, meaning that someone who is not directly involved as a party to a case assists the court by offering information about the case) with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Mississippi.[14]


Trump has called for the “immediate implementation of additional heightened screening and vetting protocols and procedures” in regards to issuing visas for the sake of national security. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Attorney General have been given the task to implement procedures that will enhance the screening of applications for visas. [15]

Electronic Device Regulations

The Department of Homeland Security has banned electronic devices larger than a cellphone from being brought on direct flights to the US via carry-on. Instead, all large devices (laptops, iPads, e-Readers, etc.) must be checked in luggage.

  • The American ban involves 10 airports in 8 Muslim-majority countries: Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, and the UAE [16].
  • The U.K. government has followed America's lead, banning large electronics from being brought on carry-on bags. Flights with direct service from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia to the UK will be impacted. [17]
  • CNN has reported an Al-Qaeda threat using laptop bombs was behind the ban. [18]
  • Affected airlines have 96 hours to implement the device ban, bringing its effective start date to 7AM EST Saturday, March 25. [19]
  • No end date has been specified. [20]

Projected Impact
Impact of Muslim Ban

Hate Crimes

There has been a substantial uptick in Islamophobic and other hate crimes since President Trump began running for office. A Washington Post study analyzed terrorism from 2011 to 2015 on US soil and found that, despite only being responsible for 12% of attacks, incidents involving a Muslim perpetrator received 44% of news coverage. [21] This disproportionate coverage fuels paranoia and bigotry.

Impact on Travel Industry

A study of approximately 300 million online air travel searches concluded that flight searches from international sources to the US dropped 17% since Trump signed the executive order on January 27. Business travel bookings within the US dropped 3.4% in the week after the travel ban was enforced.[22]

Several top officials and international travelers have expressed that traveling to the U.S. has become an unattractive venture.[23]

  • Dow said a 5 percent drop in tourism would cost the U.S. economy $18 billion dollars of lost tourism revenue [24]
  • 1 percent shift in business travel costs could lead to the loss of 71,000 jobs[25]
  • Nearly $5 billion in economic growth[26]
  • $3 billion in wages and $1.2 billion in tax collections[27]

On April 20, Emirates Airline cut the number of transatlantic flights it offers,[28], citing lower “consumer interest and demand” to travel to the US because of the travel and electronics ban.

Impact on Medical Field

Areas of the country that voted for Trump disproportionately rely on medical professionals who are originally from one of the six banned countries. This is not entirely coincidental. There is a shortage of physicians who want to practice in rural areas that tend to vote Republican. Thus, the US grants visas to foreign doctors that agree to work in these areas for three years after their residency. [29]

Hospitals are also under pressure to reject qualified medical school graduates that apply for American residencies as Trump’s immigration ban may bar them from entering the country in the first place. Individuals hired as a resident need to be ready to work by July 1. [30]

Impact on Refugees

The category of "refugee" is distinct from "immigrant," in that refugees are fleeing their home country due to war, persecution, famine or natural disaster. While some refugees choose to remain close to their homes in hopes of returning when possible, other refugees seek permanent resettlement in countries outside their home country.

Trump’s executive order on immigration halts the US refugee resettlement program for 120 days [31] Given that the security clearance, interview, and biometrics checks of the refugee admission process are valid for 15 months, sponsor assurance for 12 months, and medical clearance for 90 days, there is typically a 60-day travel period left over in which all checks are cleared. This travel window becomes increasingly complex when families are attempting to resettle as all members can have their checks validate and expire at different times. [32]

Refugees are predominately woman and children, and are some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Depending on their situation of displacement, families may live for years outside their country of origin in makeshift camps. Not all refugees seek resettlement in the US, but those who do face extensive background checks and interviews prior to being relocated, a process that on average takes two years [33].

The Trump administration has used the need for increased “vetting” of refugees as justification for halting the resettlement program without regards for how extensive, thorough, and time-consuming the existing vetting process is. Halting resettlement even for 120 days is a huge setback for refugees around the world who are seeking permanent refuge in the US. It is particularly troubling in the case of Syrian refugees, as massive displacement of Syrians as a result of the ongoing civil war is the largest humanitarian crisis of the decade. One long-term response to this humanitarian crisis is resettlement, and the US’s role in resettling refugees has only just begun to ramp up. Halting the program now would have devastating effects not only on those seeking resettlement but also on countries bordering Syria that are now bearing the brunt of the crisis [34].

It has been a strategy of the Islamic State in recent years to disrupt Western acceptance of refugees, particularly from Iraq and Syria. Trump’s executive order may have the added effect of being countereffective on our war with ISIS.[35]

Impact of the Electronic Device Regulations

Individuals with special needs may be particularly affected by the ban. Having devices such as iPads, Kindles, and laptops are crucial for communication, sensory calming techniques, and entertainment that are soothing in high-stress situations like flying. [36] Click here for more information about how the Trump Administration affects individuals with disabilities.

Vulnerabilities in Their Strategy
Vulnerabilities of the Ban

Civil Rights Groups

The ACLU of Maine and other New England ACLU Affiliates filed a lawsuit demanding documents about the implementation of the ban. These documents specifically concern records from the Boston branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about the implementation of the ban at Bradley, Bangor, Burlington, Logan, Manchester and T.F. Green International Airports. This lawsuit comes after the ACLU spent two months demanding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from CBP agencies across the country [37]. Note: A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) declares that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records.


The Trump Administration has used national security threats as justification for the ban. Yet a report from the Cato Institute in September 2016 that specifically analyzed the impact of immigration of terrorism in the US concluded that “the hazards posed by foreign-born terrorists are not large enough to warrant extreme actions like a moratorium on all immigration or tourism.”[38]

The Trump Administration has similarly claimed the media has underreported certain attacks, and these attacks cited overwhelmingly involved a Muslim perpetrator.

Muslims are not required to comment on acts in which they did not participate. However, a common Islamophobic claim is that Muslims are silent on terror. To respond to the false claim, click here for a 712+ page compilation of Muslims who condemned terror.

Conflicts of Interest

Trump has business ties in most of the Muslim-majority countries excluded from his executive order, including Egypt, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan.[39] While Trump has used the 9/11 attacks to justify his ban, none of the hijackers was from the countries targeted by his executive order, and no terror attacks have been committed in the US by nationals of these countries.[40]

Existing Laws

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, aka the Hart-Celler Act banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin.

The Hart-Celler Act abolished the national origins quota system that had structured American immigration policy since the 1920s, replacing it with a preference system that focused on immigrants' skills and family relationships with citizens or residents of the U.S. Numerical restrictions on visas were set at 170,000 per year, not including immediate relatives of US citizens, nor "special immigrants" (including those born in "independent" nations in the Western hemisphere; former citizens; ministers; employees of the U.S. government abroad).[41]

8 U.S. Code § 1152 states that no person could be “discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.”[42]

Vulnerabilities of the Electronic Device Regulations

Smartphones have the same capabilities as larger devices. Likewise, an explosive device of any size can detonate regardless of whether it is stored in a checked bag or carry-on. [43]

Opponents from Within

H.R. McMaster

Breaking with the rhetoric of Trump, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster declared in a National Security Council meeting that the label “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic” and perverting Islam. His approach signals a potentially more moderate tone towards the Muslim world compared to the rest of the Trump Administration staff, especially McMaster’s predecessor, the resigned Michael Flynn. [44]

Department of Homeland Security

Leaked documents from the Department of Homeland Security undercut the Trump administrations arguments supporting the ban. These documents acknowledge that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity," and that "most foreign-born, US-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States, limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns." [45]