The guide below is available in the following languages as a PDF for easy printing and distribution.
*Please note that this guide was created on Monday, January 30, 2017 and some sections may no longer be accurate.
President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) barring travel and immigration to the United States on Friday, January 27th, 2017. The EO, which took immediate effect, targeted individuals from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Despite being dubbed the ‘Muslim Ban,’ Trump’s executive order impacts all communities from the seven nations, regardless of individuals’ religious or ethnic backgrounds. However, the ban adds an unprecedented ‘religious test’ component for anyone seeking refuge that bars Muslims fleeing persecution. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detained, deported, and restricted individuals from traveling to the United States, including those already mid-flight.
The ban impacted individuals with varying immigration statuses, including: refugees, lawful permanent residents (also known as LPRs or green card holders), and non-U.S. dual nationals. Many individuals from, or born in, the Southwest Asian, South Asian, North African, and East African regions, outside of the seven banned countries, were also detained and eventually released.
In the days following the signing of the EO, hundreds of lawyers, translators, and other volunteers attempted to obtain clarity in an effort to protect individuals targeted by the ban. This guide aims to serve as an additional resource to targeted individuals, though it is by no means a replacement for legal or organizational support. Please utilize this guide in conjunction with proper legal representation as each individual case may be affected differently by the ban.
This guide is the result of a collaboration between various individuals and organizations in an effort to provide the most reliable and up-to-date information on President Trump’s executive order. All information will be made available in Arabic, Persian, Somali, Urdu, and Western Armenian, thanks to the generosity of volunteers.
The purpose of this guide is to:
- Inform any individuals affected by the ‘Muslim Ban’ of their rights and any resources available to them
- Provide necessary practical measures to people who are or may be affected by the ban
- Direct people on where and how to take action against the ban, including sample call scripts for contacting their Members of Congress
- Offer helpful links to additional guides and resources available through various legal, advocacy, and direct service organizations
Individuals seeking additional resources or information may contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. This guide was compiled by a coalition of organizations, including Ajam Media Collective, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), Iraqi Transnational Collective (ITC), Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), Southwest Asian & North Afrikan – Los Angeles (SWANA-LA), SWANA Rising for Collective Liberation (SRCL), as well as over 100 volunteers.
- Additional Guides
- ACLU’s Writ of Habeas Corpus and the Stay Ruling
- Information for Detainees
- People Stranded in Transit
- If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Shows Up at Your Door
- For Free Legal Services
- For Immigration Advice
- To Report Hate Crimes & Discrimination
- Translations: Guidance and Volunteer Opportunities
- Additional Actions, Resources & Outreach
- Local Advocacy
- Mental Health Resources (National and Local)
- Local Resources for Refugees
- Stay Involved and Informed
- Social Media Accounts to Follow
- Talking Points on Immigration (Statistics and Policy)
- The ban affects citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen.
- If you are a U.S. citizen, you cannot be deported or banned from re-entry if you leave the United States. However, you may be subject to additional questioning or screening. There are reports of US citizens being questioned about their social media upon re-entry.
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, it is strongly advised that you consult an immigration lawyer before making any plans for international travel.
- The following advice applies to non-citizens with specific circumstances:
- Green Card/Legal Permanent Resident (LPR): If you have a green card or are a legal permanent resident, it is recommended that you consult with an immigration attorney prior to international travel plans. If you’re outside of the US, you should also consult with an immigration attorney since you may be subject to the ban. If you are detained upon re-entry, do not sign the I-407 form, even under pressure. Doing so will relinquish your green card.
- Dual Nationality: If you are a dual national citizen from one of the listed countries and not a U.S. citizen (i.e. British-Somali; French-Syrian), it is possible you will be denied entry regardless of which passport you use. There are conflicting statements regarding this issue, therefore, it is advisable not to travel outside the United States without contacting an immigration attorney at this time.
- Undocumented: If you are undocumented and living in the U.S., consult an immigration attorney as they can advise you on immigration options and any potential risks. Make sure that you have any relevant documents available and secure in case of deportations; compile a list of contact information that includes trusted friends, colleagues, and loved ones; have someone in place to take care for children and elderly family members. Do not open the door for federal or local law enforcement. Always ask to see a warrant. You can ask for the warrant to be slid under the door. If you have an attorney, inform federal or local law enforcement to contact your attorney.
- Student, Scholar, or Worker: If you are a student, scholar, or worker, and your visa is sponsored by your institution, organization, or company, and you are required to leave and re-enter the U.S., the Executive Order calls for a 90-day ban on immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the US. Students in particular can contact their university Designated School Official (DSO) and an immigration attorney to see if they are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or national interest waiver.
- Visa Holder: If you are a citizen of one of the 7 affected countries and you currently have a valid, approved visa but are outside the U.S., you may still face trouble upon returning. The following visas will not be approved for re-entry (this list is NOT exhaustive):
- B1/B2 – visitor visa
- H visa- temporary workers
- K-1 visa – fiancé
- J visa- exchange visitors/trainee
- Q visa – educational and cultural, exchange program, cultural/tourist
- V visa – spouses and children of LPR visitors
Another good comprehensive guide organized by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which includes both a legal interpretation of the order as well as a guide on talking points and how to contact your representative, can be found here.
More Information on Refugees, Immigrants, and Trump’s Executive Order is also available in the following document.
ACLU’s Writ of Habeas Corpus and the Stay Ruling
The ACLU and other immigrant advocacy organizations filed numerous cases across the country challenging various portions of the Executive Order and how it has been implemented. All of these cases have so far been preliminarily successful, and have resulted in a number of court orders that have temporarily blocked enforcement of the Order. In New York, a federal judge issued a “nationwide temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban.” In Boston, a federal judge issued a more expansive ruling preventing not just deportations of individuals covered by the ban, but also secondary screenings and detentions. The full implications of these orders are still unclear, as these cases are still pending.
Despite this, there have continued to be reports of people being subjected to extra screening, detained, and deported following detention. At this point, individuals who suspect they may be covered by the Executive Order should still be very cautious when making travel plans, and should consult immigration attorneys regardless.
For more information about the legal status of the federal challenges, follow this link. For more information about the New York challenges, follow this link regarding the case and click here for the text of the petition.
Information for Detainees
If someone you know is detained at an airport, call your local ACLU hotline. You can find that information here. You can also contact the ADC Legal Department for immediate advice at (202) 244-2990.
- If you are at SFO Airport (CA)
- OneJustice is on-site with legal support – you can reach out via Twitter (@onejusticeorg)
- If you are at LAX Airport (CA)
- Call the ACLU of Southern California’s hotline at (213) 977-5245.
- If you are at JFK Airport (NY)
- Contact JFK attorneys through email (JFKneedalawyer@gmail.com), Twitter (@nobanjfk), or through their hotline (1-844-326-4940)
- Mayor Cuomo’s Hotline: 1-888-769-7243
- If you are at Newark Airport (NJ)
- Contact Newark attorneys through email (EWRneedalawyer@gmail.com), Twitter (@EWR_Lawyers)
People Stranded in Transit:
- If you are in need of a place to stay, try AirBnb, which seems to be offering housing at no cost to those affected by the ban.
- If you need to place a call, the app Viber will allow calls now to any landline or mobile between the U.S. and the 7 countries impacted by the ban, for free.
- If you are stuck in Canada, the immigration minister has said Canada will offer temporary residency to anyone stranded because of the Muslim ban.
- If you are currently in transit and can contact your family members, contact them immediately so that they can find a attorney (if you do not have one already) for you before your arrival.
- Attorneys at airports are handling all detained cases individually, and need to present a signed Form G-28 in order to prove the existence of an attorney-client relationship. Where possible, arrange to prepare a G-28 with an available volunteer attorney.
- If you have an attorney, contact them prior to landing in the U.S.
- If you believe you are at risk of persecution from your country of origin, be ready to request a credible fear interview at the U.S. port of entry (airport). You have a right to request an attorney at this interview.
If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Shows Up at Your Door:
Via the ACLU Know Your Rights Initiative:
- Don’t open the door, but be calm. You have rights.
- Ask what they are there for, and ask for an interpreter if you need one.
- If they ask to enter, ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge. An ICE administrative warrant (I-200, I-205) does not allow them to enter your home without your consent.
- If they have a signed warrant, ask to see it (through a window or under the door)
- If they do NOT have a warrant signed by a judge, you may refuse to let them in. Ask them to leave any information at the door.
- If they force their way in, do not resist. Tell everyone in the residence to remain silent.
- If you are arrested, remain silent and do not sign anything until you speak to a lawyer.
For Free Legal Services
- American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Immigration Legal Directory (available in multiple languages)
- Immigration Advocates Network
- National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild’s online find-a-lawyer tool
- National Immigrant Justice Center: Schedule a legal consultation by phone (312-660-1370) or email email@example.com
- The immigration courts’ list of lawyers and organizations that provide free legal services
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center has a comprehensive online client intake form
- Graduate students in the University of California system who are affected by the ban may also seek free legal counsel from UAW 2865. You can find contact information for your local chapter here.
- One Justice (for low-income Californians)
For Immigration Advice:
- CUNY CLEAR provide legal assistance to those needing immigration advice in New York. CC will provide assistance in Arabic, Bangla, English, French, Spanish, Urdu, and many other languages, and can do workshops at your local masjid. You can reach them at 718-340-4558.
- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) offers pro-bono legal advice/assistance to Arab Americans on matters of immigration, profiling, and discrimination. You can reach them here: (202) 244-2990 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To Report Hate Crimes & Discrimination:
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has a civil rights staff on hand that receive reports of discrimination on a daily basis and work to resolve them through mediation, negotiation, public pressure or, if necessary, through legal action. You can contact them at 312-212-1520 or email@example.com.
- The Arab American Institute (AAI) offers lots of information of reporting and recognizing hate crimes and discrimination, including which organizations to contact for different types of discrimination (e.g. housing, in schools, employment, etc.).
- The Southern Poverty Law Center, allows you to report incidents of hate on their website, so that they can monitor incidents around the country. They ask that people first report hate crimes to the local police.
Translations: Guidance and Volunteer Opportunities
If you would like to volunteer your time as a translator or if you are an attorney that is seeking out a translator, fill out this form.
Additional Actions, Resources & Outreach:
- Translate at airports: Persian and Arabic speakers in particular are in high demand, especially as for attorneys. Sign up here to assist attorneys on the ground at airports around the U.S.
- Academics Against Immigration Executive Order: If you work in academia, you can add your name to a petition / letter of protest here.
- Call your congressmen to urge them to fight against the ban. Find out where your senators stand on the ban and how to contact them here.
- “I urge President Trump and Congress to direct Customs & Border Protection to end detention and return of refugees, and persons based solely on their religion and national origin to rescind this Executive Order. America has long been a place of refuge for the world’s most vulnerable! Families should not be separated because of bigotry!”
- 1-866-940-2439 – House of Representative – Find your Representative here!
- 1-866-961-4293 – Senators – Find your Senators here!
- Be quick and succinct! Here’s a sample of what to say:
- “I am a constituent and I am outraged by Trump’s un-American ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries including Iran. Discriminating on the basis of religion, national origin or ethnicity is un-American and undercuts the vision of America as a country that stands for freedom and equality. This disgraceful order will divide families and friends separated by country, and will not make us safer. I urge you to denounce this disgraceful order and do everything in your power to see that it is reversed. Can I count on the [Senator/Representative’s] support?
- Even if your representatives oppose the ban, it is useful to call and tell them how important repealing the ban is to you. Representatives are more likely to push hard on an issue if they know it is important to their constituents.
- Donate to the ACLU, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild and CAIR.
- Write letters! You can find sample letters to your Representative, Congress, and the White House at the end of this document.
- Tweet at President Trump!
- The AAI (Arab American Institute) and the ADC (American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) are calling for people to use Twitter to tell Trump how they feel about the ban.
- Popular Hashtags: #NoBanNoWall, #NoMuslimBan #MuslimBan #RefugeesWelcome
Mental Health Resources (National and Local):
- Institute for Muslim Mental Health
- Mental Health4Muslims
- Stones to Bridges – Anonymous Counseling for Muslim Youth
- NASEESHA – Muslim Youth Helpline
- National Alliance of Mental Illness – Provides Referrals
- Therapists of Color Referrall Share
- Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Identity – Referral Source for LGBTQ Muslims
- Project Sakinah – Directory for Muslim Therapists
- RAHAA, Northern California, Iranian American Nonprofit Mental Health Organization
- Khalil Center, Northern California, Counseling and Therapy Services
- UCSF Trauma Recovery Center, Northern California, Counseling and Therapy Services
- Muslim American Society- Social Services Foundation (MAS-SSF), Sacramento, CA
- The Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara, CA
- El Camino Women’s Medical Group, Mountain View, CA
- Omid Institute, Irvine, CA
- Washington DC:
Local Resources for Refugees:
- Dallas, TX:
Stay Involved and Informed:
Social Media Accounts to Follow
|American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)||@aayoub||ADCNational|
|Arab American Institute||@AAIUSA||ArabAmerican|
|Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (Muslim ARC)||@MuslimARC||MuslimARC|