CAIR reported today that more than 400 delegates from 30 states, including a large delegation from Ohio organized by CAIR-Columbus, met on Monday and Tuesday with some 230 elected officials and congressional staffers during the record-breaking third annual “National Muslim Advocacy Day” on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
CAIR said Muslim delegates participating in this year’s advocacy day event met with a third of the House of Representatives and almost half of the Senate.
The lobbying effort, the largest congressional Muslim advocacy event in the country, was sponsored by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations. *
Participants posted photos and commentary about National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill on social media using the hashtag #MuslimHillDay.
“This year, American Muslims traveled from across the nation to push back against federal policies and programs wrongfully targeting Muslims. We stood with our civil rights allies in addressing ways to better protect immigrant and refugee communities, and to put an end to racial and religious profiling,” said CAIR-Columbus Executive Director Jennifer Nimer. “This year’s National Muslim Advocacy Day marks the beginning of even greater congressional outreach and engagement throughout the coming year and election cycle.”
On Monday, USCMO hosted a civic engagement and congressional advocacy training seminar for Muslim delegates in the Capitol Visitor Center’s auditorium. Later that day, members of Congress and their staff joined hill day participations for an evening reception at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
National Muslim Advocacy Day delegates promoted a legislative agenda in support of equality and social justice, and outlined the domestic priorities of the American Muslim community, including support for:
- The SOLVE Act 2.0 (H.R. 724) – Declares that the Muslim Ban 2.0 is “null and void, shall have no force and effect, and may not be implemented or enforced” and prohibits federal funding of the executive order.
- Freedom of Religion Act of 2017 (H.R. 852) – Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that non-American citizens may not be denied admission or entry to the U.S., or other immigration benefits, because of their religion, and for other purposes.
- No Religious Registry Act of 2017 (H.R. 489) – Ensures that individuals of all faiths are protected from the establishment of a national religious registry and prohibits surveilling certain U.S. persons and other individuals based on religious affiliation.
- S.248 – Blocks all federal funding for the Trump Administration’s first “Muslim Ban” executive order.
- Access to Counsel Act (S. 349) – Guarantees legal counsel to those detained on entry to the U.S., and clarifies the rights of all persons who are held or detained at a port of entry or at any detention facility overseen by CBP or ICE.
- Protect American Families Act (S. 54) – Would prohibit the creation of an immigration-related registry program that classifies people based on religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, nationality, or citizenship.
- The Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow our Economy Act (H.R. 496/S.128) – The BRIDGE Act would protect undocumented young people brought to the U.S. as children, commonly referred to as DREAMers, should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued under the Trump Administration.
- The No State Resources for Immigration Enforcement (NSRIE) Act (H.R.1446) – Would amend section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Secure Communities Program, to prohibit state and local law enforcement officers and employees from performing the functions of an immigration officer in relation to “the investigation, apprehension, or detention” of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
- The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017 (S. 411), and its companion bill introduced in the House, the End Racial Profiling Act (H.R. 1498) – These companion bills would effectively eliminate racial, religious, and other forms of discriminatory profiling by law enforcement.
* Founding members of USCMO: American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed).