The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) held a press conference with faith leaders and immigrant rights advocates on March 8 to voice their opposition to President Donald Trump’s revised executive order banning Muslims and refugees.
The new order removes Iraq from the seven Muslim-majority countries affected by Trump’s initial “Muslim ban” but prevents travelers from Yemen, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Syria from seeking new visas to enter the U.S. for 90 days. Trump’s revised order would also allow for only 50,000 refugees, which is a striking reduction from former President Obama’s cap of 110,000.
The speakers at the press conference included:
- Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin, CIOGC Co-Founder, Ex-Officio Board Member
- Shahnawaz Khan, CIOGC Vice Chair
- Azam Nizamuddin, President, Muslim Bar Association
- Artemio Arreola, Political Director, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
- Rev. Catiana McKay, United Methodist Church
- Bishop Wayne Miller, President, Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC)
- Judy Levey, Executive Director, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA)
- Eli Massey, Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago
“While revisions were made to the executive order, it remains a “Muslim ban” as it specifically targets and discriminates against Muslims,” said Dr. Bassam Osman, Chair of CIOGC. “The suspension of the U.S. refugee program for 120 days during a time of great humanitarian need, and reducing the number of refugees accepted to less than half, is inhumane and goes against our values as Americans.” said Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin, former Chair and Ex-Officio Board Member.
The new executive order, which the Trump administration claims is meant to “protect the nation from foreign terrorist entry in the United States,” is set to take effect March 16. CIOGC has actively been working with community partners, interfaith leaders, and public officials to challenge the initial “Muslim ban” which was introduced in January.