(ATLANTA, GA, 06/29/17) Starting on Thursday, June 29, a coalition of Georgia law firms and civil rights organizations plan to assist travelers who may be impacted by President Trump's "Muslim Ban," parts of which are scheduled to take effect at 8 pm EST at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The coalition encourages the family members of any wrongfully detained travelers to contact the attorneys for assistance over the weekend.
"The fact that President Trump wants to ban many American Muslims from welcoming their grandparents to the United States is the latest sign that this executive order has little to do with national security and everything to do with anti-Muslim bigotry," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-GA. "Grandparents hardly pose a threat to the homeland."
Participating firms and civil rights groups include:
- ACLU of Georgia - (770) 303-8111
- American Immigration Lawyers Association Georgia-Alabama Chapter
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Atlanta) - (404) 585-8446
- Council on American Islamic-Relations (Georgia) - (404) 285-9530
- Effron Sharma Immigration, LLC - (770) 313-7658
- Law Office of Asiyah Sharifi - (678) 310-9786
- Owings Immigration Law - (404) 713-5567
- Southern Center for Human Rights - (404) 688-1202
- Southern Poverty Law Center - 1-800-591-3656 (toll free) or (404) 521-6700.
"As attorneys sworn to uphold the Constitution, we feel a special obligation to help protect the rights of the families and travelers harmed by the travel ban, especially here in Atlanta," said Gillian Gillers, staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center. "We call on the Trump administration to withdraw these guidelines, as well as the entire Muslim Ban. In the meantime, Georgia attorneys stand ready to assist those impacted by the executive order."
On June 26, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to reinstate parts of the Muslim Ban while the Court considers whether the executive order is constitutional. The ruling authorized immigration officials to stop issuing new visas to foreign nationals who lack a credible claim of a "bona fide" relationship with individuals or entities in the United States. Under the Court’s ruling, a “bona fide” relationship with an individual requires a “close familial relationship.”
According to a Department of State cable issued on June 28, the Trump administration plans to treat only the following relationships as sufficiently “close” to support issuance of a visa: spouses, siblings, parents, children, adult sons or daughters, and sons- or daughters-in-law. The administration’s definition of close family relationship specifically excludes grandparents, cousins, fiancés, and certain other relatives.
"By dividing American Muslims from their grandparents and other family overseas, the administration is violating not only the spirit and language of the Supreme Court's decision, but also the core values of our country," said Phi Nguyen, litigation director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta. "These arbitrary rules must not stand, nor should any other part of the unconstitutional Muslim Ban. We can protect our nation without scapegoating our Muslim communities or turning our back on refugees.”
"The news that President Trump will bar many U.S. citizen Muslims from bringing fiancés, grandparents, and other family members to the United States demonstrates that the executive order is not related to national security, but rather is based on religious discrimination," said Rachel Effron Sharma, attorney and founder of Effron Sharma Immigration, LLC. "The administration’s guidelines are not consistent with the principles of fairness and equality that our Constitution is based on."