What's the human impact of the Muslim Ban?

Isra Chaker, Oxfam's refugee campaign lead, speaks out against the Supreme Court's decision on the Muslim Ban on June 26. Photo: Oxfam America

Oxfam is heartbroken by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Muslim Ban.

On June 26, news broke that the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of upholding President Trump’s September executive order to restrict travel from several majority Muslim countries—Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia—as well as North Korea and Venezuela, to the United States. Oxfam was on the scene, in front of the Supreme Court, to express our dismay at the normalization of religious discrimination.

Isra Chaker, Oxfam's refugee campaign lead, is personally affected by the ban as a Syrian-American with relatives in Syria. “I haven't seen my extended family in Syria since the conflict began over seven years ago,” she said, as she held back tears. “This ban prevents me from being reunited with them in my home, the United States of America, where I was born and raised, proudly, as an American."

Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam’s humanitarian policy lead, has condemned the policy for institutionalizing discrimination on the basis of religion. As an organization, Oxfam is concerned that the decision will embolden those who seek to end our proud legacy as a welcoming nation.

“There’s a human impact behind this ban,” Chaker reminds us. “The Muslim Ban has torn families apart. It has shattered our ability to be reunited. It is cruel, and it is heartless.”

Discrimination on the basis of religion is un-American, and we are shocked that the Court would reject this essential American value of relgious freedom.

From the beginning, Oxfam has rallied, put pressure on members of Congress, shared stories of refugees and individuals affected by the bans, like this Syrian father unsure about his family's resettlement, and helped take the battle into court.

We will not give up on the fight for equality and humanity. Oxfam and our allies will continue to speak out against the Muslim Ban and harmful attacks on immigrant communities.    

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