The Muslim ban was wrong then. And it’s wrong now.

By Oxfam
Isra Chaker, Oxfam's refugee campaign lead, speaks out against the Supreme Court's decision on the Muslim Ban on June 26. Photo: Simon Edelman (Syncro Studios)

The 116th Congress is open for session. And more than 120 House legislators have introduced the Freedom of Religion Act to prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system.

Call the US Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and tell your public representative: I support the Freedom of Religion Act to dismantle the Muslim Ban!


Two years ago today, President Trump’s Muslim ban went into effect. It was wrong then to bar people from majority-Muslim countries from coming to the United States, and it’s wrong now.

Here’s the good news: Last week legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives to start to dismantle the Muslim Ban—the Freedom of Religion Act. With 124 original co-sponsors, the bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that no one can be denied admission or entry to the United States, or other immigration benefits, because of his or her religion.

“The Muslim ban is one of this Administration’s most potent symbols of hate—and it is having devastating consequences on families fleeing hardship,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar, an Oxfam Sister of the Planet ambassador and co-sponsor of the legislation. “As someone who came to the U.S. from one of the banned countries, I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation to end this hateful ban and ensure that we live up to ideals of our nation.”

We can’t stop this injustice without you.

Over the last two years, you’ve stood strong with us—through thick and thin—to let the Trump administration know every step of the way that this is unacceptable, and that this has to change. See what we’ve done together because we chose to act.

You protested with us

Activists and Oxfam staff protest the executive order barring refugees from the US in January 2017 in Boston's Copley Square. Photo: Lauren Levine/Oxfam

One day after President Trump signed the Muslim ban in late January 2017, impromptu demonstrations in several airports quickly sparked a nationwide movement, prompting formal protests in cities across the country. From the White House, to Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, and beyond, millions of Americans and Oxfam supporters made their voices clear: refugees are welcome here.

You shared refugee stories with the world

Khaled Al-Wadi, who has polio, had his hopes set on a new life in the US for himself and his family. Photo by Benoit Almeras/Oxfam Photo: Benoit Almeras/Oxfam

Two months after the ban went into effect, Oxfam shared the story of Khaled Al-Wadi, who fled Syria with his family in 2012. He was about to be resettled in the United States when the ban was suddenly put in place. “I was deeply shocked to hear about this decision that bars my family and me from entering the US. We pinned our hopes on traveling there,” he said, sitting in his prefabricated home in Jordan’s biggest refugee camp, Za'atari. Despite going through the lengthy US vetting process, his wife Laila and their children Hazem, 6, and Rana, 3, were shut out.

You sent a message from President Trump’s childhood home with us

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As world leaders gathered in New York for the UN General Assembly in September 2017, Oxfam and refugees resettled in the US from Syria, Somalia, and Vietnam gathered in the childhood home of President Trump to send an unequivocal message to the US government: Do more to resettle and help refugees. It was a critical moment to remind the world that a cornerstone of the founding values of the US was to offer oppressed people refugee from violence and persecution.

You stormed the halls of Congress with us

Oxfam Sisters on the Planet ambassadors and staff advocate on Capitol Hill for stronger protections for refugees. Photo: Oxfam America

From signing petitions calling on the US to welcome refugees to urging elected representatives to fight back against the Trump administration's heartless refugee resettlement policy, Oxfam supporters made their voices heard on Capitol Hill. In March 2018, Oxfam hosted 25 Sisters on the Planet ambassadors in Washington to urge their public representatives to support full funding of lifesaving foreign assistance programs, especially programs supporting refugees. “In this critical time of unrest and rising need around the world, we must not turn our backs on the poorest and most vulnerable, too often women,” said former Wisconsin Lt. Governor and Sister on the Planet ambassador Barbara Lawton.

You mourned with us. But you refused to give up

In June 2018, news broke that the US Supreme Court had ruled 5-4 in favor of upholding President Trump’s Muslim ban. The pain was real, but the commitment to fight continued. “There’s a human impact behind this ban that we rarely focus on,” said Isra Chaker, Oxfam America’s refugee campaign lead, on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court the morning of the decision. “A human impact that impacts people like me, an American born and raised in Boulder, CO.”


Let's continue to fight together to dismantle the Muslim ban-once and for all!

Call the US Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and tell your public representative: I support the Freedom of Religion Act!

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