NQAPIA MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Monday, Oct 17, 2017
For More Information:
Roberta Sklar 917-704-6358 firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn Magpantay, 917-439-3158, email@example.com
LGBT Asians/South Asians Protest Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban v. 3.0
Actions in 7 Cities, Stories of Queer Muslims, and LGBT Amicus Brief in Court
New York, NY … On Wednesday, October 18, Trump’s anti-Muslim Travel Ban v. 3.0 is scheduled to go into effect. The revised ban which bars people from six majority Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad) and North Korea and Venezuela from coming to the United States and delays all refugee entries. The last two countries replace Sudan and Iraq, which were part of the original travel ban, and added Chad.
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance has led a national campaign in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community protesting the ban including:
- LGBT amicus brief in the legal challenges in court
- Organized a series of awareness-building actions in 7 cities
- Telling the stories of LGBT Muslims in America
“Trump’s revised travel ban is a thinly veiled attempt to disguise the ban in the eyes of the court. But it is still an anti-Muslim ban and we’ll fight this one too. Trump’s ban threatens the lives of immigrants and refugees from all walks of life. It has a direct impact on the lives of LGBT people and tears our families apart.” said Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director.
AMICUS BRIEF IN COURT
On the day after the Executive Orders were announced, January 27, chaos broke out in airports across the United States with travelers being stopped, held, turned back etc. NQAPIA received several urgent complaints and provided legal assistance to LGBT Muslim people and allies at airports who were caught up in Trump’s orders.
NQAPIA, NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and Immigration Equality, with the pro bono assistance of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, filed amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs in both the US Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to show the impact of Trump’s Executive Orders on the LGBT community. Multiple lower courts have ruled against Trump and suspended the travel ban. Read the brief at bit.ly/trumpvhawaii
NQAPIA’s brief illustrates the impact of the travel ban on the LGBT community. Homosexuality is criminalized in the counties subject to the ban. Many LGBT people in those countries are fleeing oppression due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. But, Trump’s travel ban prevents them from reaching safety and from escaping persecution and life-threatening conditions in their home countries or in refugee camps abroad.
The brief also illustrates the impact on U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have LGBT partners and family members abroad who are seeking refuge in the United States. Trump’s travel ban deprives U.S. citizens and LPRs of their constitutionally-protected right to maintaining familial relationships with their loved ones—whose safety is jeopardized by their sexual orientation or gender identity.
ACTIONS IN SEVEN (7) CITIES
Throughout the weekend of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, NQAPIA organized local actions in seven (7) cities—Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC—protesting the state sanctioned violence, harassment, and profiling that LGBTQ South Asians and Muslims have endured since 9/11. The awareness raising actions, entitled, “#QueerAzaadi,” featured:
- community funerals to lift the names of Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, trans women, African Americans, and undocumented immigrants killed in hate crimes this year;
- storytelling speak-outs of LGBTQ Muslims and experiences of violence over the last 16 years; and
- mock checkpoints targeting white people to replicate the profiling that South Asians, Muslims, and people of color experience at airports and in government buildings.
300 people participated in the actions that unveiled the interlocking systems of Islamophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and anti-blackness. More information about the actions can be found at nqapia.org/queerazaadi.
“Trump’s series of Muslim Bans are not about keeping us safe. For LGBTQ API communities, safety means eradicating borders for ALL of our families – given, chosen, and imagined. We will continue fight Trump’s Muslim Bans, anti-Trans bills, and all policies that criminalize our communities by building up our own power, strategy and resilience.” said Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director.
VOICES OF QUEER MUSLIMS
NQAPIA has also published the personal stories of LGBT Muslims and South Asian sharing their experiences of policing and profiling in writing at nqapia.org/redefinesecurity-stories and in video at nqapia.org/redefinesecurity-videos.
* Maya Jafer, transgender Indian Muslim immigrant who shows that extensive security measures and vetting are already in place. Written and Video: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/uncovering-our-stories-maya-jafer/
* Sal Salam, gender-nonconforming Bangladeshi Muslim who felt harassed and separated from their husband upon re-entering the U.S. Video: https://youtu.be/9bxAo8BS9_4
* Sahar Shafqat, gender nonconforming Pakistani Muslim who was harassed by TSA. Written: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/redefinesecurity-sahar-shafqat/
* Pia Ahmed’s sister ended up on the No Fly List as a teenager. Video: https://youtu.be/OewniH4Xflc?list=PLDc2t2P5kWWWUd0tWbr7IkBJ-CKo6Xxsj
* Pia Ahmed’s recounts watching their father get pulled out of line by TSA agents. Video: https://youtu.be/gXHR0YPx2RA
* Alina Bee, South Asian whose ethnic dress was invasively searched by TSA. Written: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/redefinesecurity-alina-bee/
* Joyti Chand, South Asian, but not Muslim, whose apartment was broken into by LA Police. Written: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/redefinesecurity-jyoti-chand/
* Read Op-Ed by Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59b6c8ace4b0465f7588090b
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT API groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenges anti-LGBT bias and racism.
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We’ve created our own 1-pagers and infographics on critical racial/religious profiling issues. Take a look!
NQAPIA Hails Federal Appeals Court for Striking Down Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban
NQAPIA’s LGBT Amicus Brief Available at: bit.ly/hawaiivtrump
Today, a federal appeals court on the East Coast upheld a lower court’s ruling blocking President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban. A federal appeals court on the West Coast is considering the same.
A jubilant Glenn D. Magpantay, the Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, hailed the decision saying, “Trump’s Executive Orders threatens the lives of immigrants and refugees from all walks of life. The anti-Muslim and anti-refugee ban will have a direct impact on the lives of LGBT people and tears families apart”
The ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Forth Circuit upholds a lower court’s decision in Virginia to halt core portions of the executive order indefinitely. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments appealing a lower court’s decision in Seattle that also blocked President Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban which bars people from certain majority Muslim countries coming to the United States and delays all refugee entries.
NQAPIA and the NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti Violence Project and Immigration Equality, with the pro bono assistance of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief illustrating the impact of Trump’s Executive Orders on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Brief is here: bit.ly/hawaiivtrump.
NQAPIA received several complaints and provided legal assistance to LGBT Muslim people and allies who were caught up Trump’s orders.
More information about the original brief can be found here:http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/hi-v-trump/
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT AAPI groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenges anti-LGBT bias and racism.
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Especially in 2017, we need to support the safety of our queer and trans and gender non-conforming Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) community. Learn how our federation members are supporting our communities with funds raised in this year’s Give OUT Day.
It’s critical it is to come together, fight isolation, and build systems that support our full humanity, so this spring, APIENC’s Give OUT Day focuses on supporting their summer leadership development work: internship, leadership exchange, and network of community mentorship. Every dollar supports the leadership development of trans, non-binary, and queer APIs.
API Equality-LA works within the Asian and Pacific Islander and LGBTQ+ communities in order to promote racial and social justice. All funds raised will sustain their internship and leadership programs for the upcoming year. Their programs give youth from different backgrounds and identities hands-on training with community organizing and activism.
Nearly a year since the Orlando nightclub shooting, NQAPIA and the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) continue to support, empower, and connect LGBTQ Muslims across the country.
MASGD aims to increase acceptance of gender and sexual diversity within Muslim communities and promotes a progressive understanding of Islam that is centered on inclusion, justice, and equality. They seek to challenge root causes of oppression, including misogyny and xenophobia. Your gift allows MASGD to continue creating opportunities for LGBTQ Muslims to be represented, find resources, and know they are not alone.
NQAPIA recognizes the importance of building family acceptance and cultivating supportive communities for LGBTQ Asians and Pacific Islanders. Our groundbreaking family acceptance workshops and multi-lingual visibility campaign have helped make heartwarming progress.
To lift our communities, NQAPIA is supporting efforts to plan the first-ever National LGBTQ Conference for Korean Americans. This landmark project will bring together LGBTQ people of Korean descent from around the country to help build a shared sense of identity and pride and to promote broader acceptance and visibility within the API community.
The San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander PFLAG is a loving community of compassionate and welcoming individuals that provide a safe space for parents, families, straight allies and LGBTQ persons of Asian, Pacific-Islander, East Asian, and South Asian descent. Funds raised will help continue their monthly support group meetings and community outreach programs.
Will you make a donation of $25 to one organization or even $5 to each organization?
With any amount, we all appreciate your support on Give OUT Day and every day.
#NQAPIA www.giveoutday.org #GiveOUTDay
MEDIA RELEASE for January 26, 2017
Contact: Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director, 909-343-2219, firstname.lastname@example.org
NQAPIA Blasts Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance blasted Mr. Trump’s executive orders calling them “detrimental to the interest of the American public—immigrants and citizens alike,” according to Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA’s Executive Director.
Yesterday, Mr. Trump authorized spending U.S. tax dollars on building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, notwithstanding that net migration from Mexico has decreased over the last 10 years. He decreed the creation of more detention centers, 5,000 additional border patrol agents, and a reinstatement of 287(g) that requires local police enforcement of complicated federal immigration laws. His orders threaten to cut all federal funding from sanctuary cities and to reinstate Secure Communities, a deportation program that was discontinued due to ineffectiveness and increased distrust among immigrant communities.
Today, NQAPIA is anticipating that Mr. Trump will fulfill his campaign promise of implementing a Muslim ban. For 30 days, individuals from Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran will be banned from entering the U.S., simply because they live in Muslim-majority countries. Individuals from these countries will be unable to receive visas, even if they are already approved, intend to seek asylum, or have family members in the U.S. For 120 days, no refugees from these same countries will be allowed to enter the U.S. The only exception will be refugees who are religious minorities in their countries—in other words, refugees who are not Muslim.
Sasha W., NQAPIA’s Organizing Director, said, “Building a wall, constructing detention centers, and banning Muslims does not make us safer. Instead, these executive actions demonize and criminalize our communities. Trump campaigned on Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, anti-LGBT bigotry, misogyny, and ableism—not facts or policy. Our communities have already faced significant backlash during his campaign; now, the hate violence is solidifying into federal policy.”
In NQAPIA’s #RedefineSecurity Week of Action, during the beginning stages of Mr. Trump’s campaign, NQAPIA lifted up the stories of institutional Islamophobic and xenophobic hate violence against our LGBTQ API communities. We told the stories of an Indian transwoman harassed by immigration officials; a Pakistani traveler being invasively examined by TSA, in her body and belongings; a queer South Asian organizer whose home was raided; and a Bangladeshi traveler who has been on the “no-fly list” since she was a child.
Last year, in the midst of this national uptick in hate and vigilante violence, NQAPIA submitted a model guidance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), urging DHS to adopt protections against profiling on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion. Instead, Mr. Trump is doing the opposite—he is choosing to embolden the white nationalist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic elements of his campaign.
Sasha W. concluded, “Mr. Trump is continuing to enact policies that simply do not work and that make our communities feel more unsafe in this country.”
If you want to take action against these policies, get trained with us! Sign up for NQAPIA’s direct action organizing series (in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago) at bit.ly/datrainings.
#NoBanNoWall #RedefineSecurity #NotOurPresident
Did you see us in DC last week? Along with KhushDC, NQAPIA organized a protest on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Dozens of #15YearsLater protesters blocked traffic for hours and demanded that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson end the legalized profiling of our communities: queer and trans Muslims, South Asians, and APIs.
In the morning, we created mock checkpoints all around DC – in Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, U St., and Dupont Circle. We replicated the experience of profiling for wealthy, white brunch-goers, stopping people in the street and interrogating them about their language, religious affiliation, clothing, etc.
You can read our reflections in this piece over at RaceFiles, as well as on NQAPIA’s blog. We also got great coverage from local and national news media, including the Washington Post, Washington Blade, and NBC News!
If you weren’t able to make it, please sign our petition here: bit.ly/
A huge THANK YOU to all of our co-sponsors and co-conspirators: GetEQUAL, Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum, National Coalition To Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF), SAALT- South Asian Americans Leading Together, API Resistance, Queer South Asian National Network (QSANN), Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Black Lives Matter DC, ONE DC: Organizing Neighborhood Equity, UndocuBlack Network, AQUA, SALGA NYC, NAKASEC, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), AAPCHO, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Southerners On New Ground, and the Washington Peace Center. We couldn’t have done it without you!
This past Sunday, on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, over 60 people created mock checkpoints across Washington, D.C. and shut down the intersection of 14th St and U St NW for two hours. As queer and trans Muslims and South Asians, we demanded an end to the legalized profiling of our people, especially by Secretary Jeh Johnson and the Department of Homeland Security.
Our partners, accomplices, and political family showed up in solidarity. They recognized that our movements for freedom are deeply connected. They recognized themselves in our struggles, and showed up in deep solidarity for our collective liberation. Here, in their own words, they explain why they took part in our #15YearsLater action, and their vision for our shared liberation.
Angela Peoples, GetEQUAL:
We cannot commemorate the tragic events of September 11, 2001 without also addressing the devastating violence and harm that stemmed from racist profiling and criminalization of our communities, all in the name of “safety” and “national security.” LGBTQ people of color feel the impact of this culture of fear, Islamophobia and anti immigrant sentiment every day. We will continue to stand with our Asian American and Pacific Islander family to reject this violence and demand an end to all institutions and systems that criminalize our existence.
Right now Muslim majority countries in West Asia are going through the series of exploitative, Orientalist wars that plagued East and Southeast Asia in the 20th century. When one quarter of Muslims in America are black or of African-descent and when the countries with the top four largest Muslim populations are in Southeast and South Asia we need to realize that we can no longer divide our identities by race or religion. We must forget the borders that have been imposed on our lands and on our bodies. We must stand up against injustice everywhere. We will not be free until each one of us is free.
Darakshan Raja, Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum:
This was one of few multiracial, people of color led actions that centered Islamophobia. At a moment when Muslim women, femmes, trans, queer and gender non-conforming folks are being specifically targeted, it is important to build solidarity. And we need to be real that we have so much more work to do.
Lakshmi Sridaran, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT):
It was important for SAALT to support this weekend’s action to go beyond words and help people get a snapshot of the kind of profiling and surveillance our communities have experienced in the last 15 years to illustrate the largely untold story of the victims of post 9/11 government policies. It was powerful to be on the streets to educate white people and also share common experiences with other people of color and people who identify as queer and transgender who experience this impact on a daily basis.
Maha Hilal, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms:
As we work towards ending the destructive policies of the post 9/11 era, we recognize the role of simultaneously empowering our communities to take action against these policies. We hope this will bring us one step closer to getting justice for ALL those who have been impacted by the policies of the War on Terror.
We are part of movements larger than ourselves. We are part of fights for queer people of color liberation, Black liberation, immigrant rights, justice for Muslims, API liberation, and more. Only through movement building across our communities will we be able to achieve freedom for all our people.
The participants in #15YearsLater demonstrated that building such movements is not just necessary, but possible. We can – and we will – take the streets together, build political family, and have each others’ backs. We will achieve our liberation, together.
Thank you, again, to everyone who showed up for our collective liberation this Sunday. We will be in struggle with you, side by side, until we all get free.
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBTQ AAPI groups, develop leadership, invigorate grassroots organizing, and challenge queerphobia and racism.