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LGBT Asians/South Asians Urge U.S.  Supreme Court to Strike Down Trump’s  Anti-Muslim Travel Ban

Read the LGBT Amicus Brief at bit.ly/17-956

Tomorrow on April 25, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Donald Trump’s third iteration of his anti-Muslim Travel Ban. The ban, issued by Executive Order, bars people from certain majority Muslim countries from coming to the United States.

LGBT Asian/South Asian groups submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), with the pro bono assistance of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, spearheaded the brief illustrating the impact of Trump’s travel ban on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Brief is here: bit.ly/17-956.

Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director and Counsel on the Amicus Brief, said, “Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban has a direct impact on the lives of LGBT people and tears families apart. The defense relies on some of the cases and legal theories that supported the internment of Japanese Americans.”

He continued, “We’ve been here before. In 1987, President Regan instituted an anti-HIV Travel ban. In 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court banned homosexuals because they were persons of ‘bad moral character.’ In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act banned Chinese from immigrating to the United States. Let’s never forget. Never again.”

Arguments

The amicus brief details the oppressive conditions for LGBT people living in the countries named in the travel ban, where homosexuality is criminalized and LGBT people are persecuted. The brief explains how Trump’s ban prevents LGBT people in those countries from joining their families and loved ones in the United States, increasing their exposure to persecution in their home countries.

Moreover, the brief argues that the ban deprives U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of their constitutionally-protected liberty interests in maintaining familial relationships with their loved ones whose safety is jeopardized by their sexual orientation or gender identity. Because the ban’s narrow—and legally required—exceptions lack meaningful rules guaranteeing equal treatment of LGBT visa applicants, Trump’s travel ban disproportionately denies LGBT people the ability to reunite with their loved ones in the United States.

Co-Signers

8 signed-on organizations

Seven (7) LGBTQ South Asian and Asian Pacific Islander organizations across the country join as co-amici to sign on to the brief:

  • API Equality-Los Angeles
  • API Equality-Northern California (APIENC)
  • Invisible to Invincible (i2i): Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago
  • KhushDC
  • Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association (MASALA)
  • Queer South Asian Collective (QSAC)
  • South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association of New York City (SALGA-NYC)
  • Trikone Northwest

In addition to these groups, the NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti Violence Project; Immigration Equality; LGBT bar associations in New York (LeGaL), Chicago (LAGBAC), San Francisco (BALIF), and Los Angeles; and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in Boston also joined.

Shristi Pant, a member of QSAC in Boston, said, “As an organization for South Asian queer and trans folks, we have a duty to support our Muslim community members, as well as Muslim folks from other areas of the world. This travel ban is just one aspect of the anti-Muslim violence that is being perpetuated in and by the U.S. and one that deeply affects Muslim LGBTQA+ folks in need of refuge from the violence they already face.”

Sammie Ablaza Wills, Director of API Equality-Northern California, commented that, “The anti-Muslim and anti-refugee ban is political fear mongering, directly impacting many in our communities. As LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander people, we understand that we cannot accept policies that dehumanize our Muslim and refugee family members. APIENC is dedicated to working towards safety and freedom for our people, and we will fight the Muslim ban at the airports, on the streets, and in the courts.”

Anne Watanabe, i2i core member in Chicago further elaborated, “As Asian Americans, we remember the disgraceful U.S. history of 120,000 Japanese American and Japanese people being forced into detention camps as a result of wartime hysteria filled with racism. We are now seeing this racist history repeat itself against Muslims and other targeted communities.”

Prior Actions

API Equality-LA works in solidarity with LGBTQ Muslims and those affected by racial profiling. In 2017, API Equality-LA took action on 9/11 highlighting the experiences of queer and trans Muslims and South Asians through a vigil hosted at Los Angeles City Hall. Its Indi(visible) Campaign advocates for a holistic approach towards immigration equality that encompasses challenging Islamophobia and the Muslim Ban, defending DACA and undocumented communities, and protecting LGBTQ immigrants, particularly trans immigrants of color.

Last fall, before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments on Trump’s second version of the travel ban, NQAPIA and several of the co-signing groups organized awareness raising actions in seven (7) cities—Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC—protesting the violence, harassment, and profiling that LGBTQ South Asians and Muslims have endured since 9/11.

“For the past two years, on the anniversary of 9/11, KhushDC has participated in and organized direct actions to raise awareness of Islamophobia. These actions bring attention to the increased profiling and discrimination faced by Muslim people in the U.S.,” said Anish Tailor of KhushDC.

The effort, 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; storytelling speak outs of LGBTQ Muslims and experiences of violence in the last 16 years; and mock checkpoints targeting white people to replicate the profiling that South Asian, Muslim, API, and people of color experience at airports and government buildings. 300 people participated in the actions in seven (7) cities that unveiled the interlocking systems of Islamophobia, Transphobia, Xenophobia, and Anti-Blackness.

Voices of Queer Muslims

NQAPIA has also published the personal stories of LGBT Muslims and South Asians sharing their experiences of policing and profiling in writing at nqapia.org/redefinesecurity-stories and in video at nqapia.org/redefinesecurity-videos.

Historical Timeline

1882 – Anti-Chinese Travel Ban
In 1882, Congress adopted and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first piece of federal legislation that singled out a minority group for invidious discrimination and barred their entry. It was not until 1943 that Chinese people could naturalize to become U.S. citizens. The Act was passed after many Chinese people had built the transcontinental railroad which unified the United States East and West.

1952 – Anti-LGBT Travel Ban
From 1952 to 1990, LGBT people were excluded from the U.S. because they were deemed to be of “psychopathic personality.” The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law and its application to homosexuals. Lower courts further denied the naturalization of LGBT immigrants because they were persons of “bad moral character.”

1987 – Anti-HIV Travel Ban
From 1987 to 2010, President Reagan issued an Executive Order, which President Bush extended, barring people with AIDS or who were HIV+ from entering the United States. Congress then codified the HIV+ exclusion into federal law in 1993. It was not until 2010, under President Obama, when the travel restriction was eliminated.

2017 – Anti-Muslim Travel Ban
Trump issued an executive order preventing people from 6 majority Muslim counties (Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia) and all refugees from entering the United States.

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The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBTQ API groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenges anti-LGBT bias and racism.

#NeverAgain nomuslimbanever.com #QueerAzaadi

Not Another Death Threat: Queer and Trans Muslim Realities in America

By Almas Haider

There should be a name for the particular depression of living as a queer trans Muslim of color in America. A specific PTSD of walking the streets in constant fear of being racialized as Muslim and have your gender and sexual orientation questioned. The pleasure of not just having one day a year, September 11th, to expect extra harassment, but surprise holidays like “Punish a Muslim Day.” The joy of calling your mother and father, asking them their plans for the day, and telling them to “be mindful, keep your phone charged, and go home and call me if you don’t feel safe outside today.” Because to be a queer trans Muslim of color in America means to live in a state of anticipation of what hate violence we can expect next.

In the past two years since Trump’s campaign and subsequent election, there has been a surge in anti-immigrant legislation and hate violence. According to a study conducted by South Asians Americans Leading Together (SAALT), from Election Day 2016 to Election Day 2017 there have been “302 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab communities in the United States.” 82% of these incidents were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment, a “45% increase from the year leading up to the 2016 election cycle, levels not seen since the year after September 11th.” [SAALT]

This rapidly escalating level of hate violence was not created in a vacuum. This cycle of violence is directly tied to the racist and xenophobic legislation and systems of the United States. The latest manifestation of this has been the Muslim Travel Ban which will be heard by the Supreme Court on April 25th. The executive order, “bans citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, suspends the entry of all refugees for at least 120 days, and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely,” creating yet another form of institutionalized Islamophobia in the U.S. [ACLU].

In response, on March 26th the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and seven LGBT South Asian and API groups submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Donald Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban. The brief showed how the ban has a direct impact on the lives of LGBTQIA people and tears families apart.

This brief is in part a direct response to an attempt to pinkwash the Muslim Travel Ban. Language included in the Ban says it will protect Americans by barring entry to “those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation” [Human Rights First]. This insinuates that people living in Muslim-majority countries are queerphobic and transphobic, a marketing and political tool most infamously being used by Israel to justify Palestinian genocide.

How quintessentially American: the Ban would bar queer and trans immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from seeking a complicated form of “safety” in the U.S., while claiming that the ban will help keep queer and trans people safe. This will in turn further the narrative of queerphobic and transphobic tyrants reigning in Muslim majority countries, justifying ongoing U.S. imperialism and intervention in the Middle East and creating more refugees. And the amount of physical and verbal violence queer and trans Muslims of color experience within the U.S. will continue to increase.

As the policies of the state become normalized in our everyday lives, the next turn in this cycle of queer, trans, and gendered islamophobia is the increase in hate crimes against our communities. For queer and trans Muslims of color, these attacks target multiple identities that we hold. According to the 2016 FBI Hate Crimes Statistic report, hate crimes against racial and ethnic minorities drastically increased in 2016. 25% of incidents were motivated by anti-Muslim bias alongside 18% anti-queer and anti-trans bias incidents. This makes queer and trans Muslims of color disproportionately likely to be victims. [FBI report]

Through our organizing as queer and trans Muslims, we aim to change that.

For the last two years, on September 11th, we have been crafting actions across the U.S. The purpose of these actions has been to educate, empower, and hold our community who experience the nuances of being profiled as queer Muslims of color. Our actions, drawing inspiration from Black Lives Matter and the movement for Palestinian liberation, have ranged from mock “security” checkpoints to guerilla performance art.

We are questioned and detained not just because of the languages we speak, our ancestral homes, and places of worship and communal gathering, but also because of how we express our gender and sexual identity through our appearance and the political movements we align with. Through these actions we have focused on the ways that Islamophobia and transphobia reinforce each other, how Black Muslims are particularly impacted by queer and gendered islamophobia, and building solidarity internally within our LGBTQIA community.

On the 15th anniversary of September 11th, we spearheaded 20 local organizations to create “checkpoints” in high-traffic areas of Washington, D.C. The Washington Post showed how we aimed to replicate various “checkpoints” and experiences that Muslim Americans and those perceived to be Muslims have to go through every day, including being stopped by the Transportation Security Administration, being verbally and physically harassed in businesses, and routinely called terrorists.

In 2017, after a year of direct and blatant attacks on our communities by the Trump administration, we focused on creating spaces of not only resistance, but also of healing and safety. We named the Muslim Travel Ban and other forms of state violence as the root cause of queerphobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic hate crimes. We drew connections between queerphobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia. We questioned how we show up for one another. And we committed and successfully created spaces for all of our communities to mourn both the lives and the safety that has been taken from us since the election.

Through this work we as queer and trans Muslims of color have recognized and grown our power in a country that seeks to alienate, imprison, and murder us within and outside its borders. And as we wait in anticipation for the the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Muslim Ban, we begin our plans for an annualized and formal nationwide series of actions on September 11th. We now look to September 11th and every day, not with fear, but with the resolve and strengthened ability to create a different world. And ask our accomplices to be ready to join us.

Almas Haider is the Racial Justice and Immigrants’ Rights Committee Chair of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance and Community Partnerships Manager at South Asian Americans Leading Together.

You can learn more about and get involved with the work of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance to combat Islamophobia, transphobia and queerphobia at www.nqapia.org.

LGBT Asians/South Asians Protest Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban v. 3.0

NQAPIA MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Monday, Oct 17, 2017
For More Information:
Roberta Sklar 917-704-6358 robertasklar@yahoo.com
Glenn Magpantay, 917-439-3158, glenn_magpantay@nqapia.org

 

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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NQAPIA Delivers 971 Postcards to Trump to Preserve DACA

Today, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) delivered 971 postcards from LGBTQ Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, Pacific Islanders (APIs) and allies from across the country urging Mr. Trump and Congress to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program has helped thousands of LGBTQ API young people trying to work, study, and improve their lives in this country. The elimination of DACA will take away employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and even the slightest relief from fears of deportation.

APIs are the fastest growing racial group in the United States today and the largest segment of new immigrants. 169,000 APIs are eligible for DACA. There is an estimated 267,000 undocumented immigrants who are LGBTQ, of which a disproportionate share is API. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, about 16,000 people from South Korea, the Philippines, India, and Pakistan have benefitted from DACA.

Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director, said: “DACA was never a perfect program, but it was a step in the right direction. President Trump’s mean-spirited cancellation of DACA will force 800,000 people to live in even greater fear. Hard-working DACA young people are the ones who are truly making America great.” For example:

Tony Choi is a 28 year-old, gay, Korean DACA beneficiary from New Jersey. In 2010, his options were to live a closeted life taking care of his mother with cancer in the US or return to Korea where his LGBTQ identity would subject him to harsh hazing for two years in the mandatory military service. Korean military penal law also criminalizes homosexuality. Watch Tony’s story.

Bupendra Ram is a South Asian from Fiji who came to the United States when he was only 2 years old. With the support of his mother, he is the first person in his family to attain a college degree. Read Bupendra’s story.

These stories demonstrate how DACA and other programs have protected LGBTQ APIs from harassment, discrimination, and hardship.

Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director, added: “By taking away DACA, like enacting the Muslim Ban, the Trans Military Ban, and more, Trump continues to make large numbers of the American people vulnerable to continued attacks. We will never stop fighting with and for our undocumented LGBTQ API people, and all queer and trans people of color.”

Magpantay continued, “NQAPIA, which has long fought hard to preserve DACA and for immigrants’ rights, will take our fight to Congress. We urge Congress to codify DACA into law.”

Take Action

Sign the National Immigration Law Center petition to help defend DACA.

#HereToStay nqapia.org/uncovering-our-stories #DefendDACA

#QueerAzaadi: A National Call for Mourning, Action, & Celebration on 9/11

 #QueerAzaadi // Queer Liberation

A National Call for Action, Mourning, & Celebration on the Weekend of 9/11

Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17 years old.
Nabra Hassanen, 17 years old.
Jaquarrius Holland, 18 years old.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 years old.

These are just a few of the people that our communities have lost to hate crimes and state violence this year. 2017 has seen a rise in the murders of Black trans women, of Black people killed by police violence, of Muslims and those mistaken for Muslim killed in Islamophobic hate crimes. As queer and trans Muslims, South Asians, and APIs, we know that these forms of violence are connected. We cannot separate being harassed because of our gender identities from being harassed because of the color of our skin. Transphobia, islamophobia, anti-Blackness, and xenophobia all reinforce each other in our lives.

#QueerAzaadi

This is the year of Trump’s election and the Muslim Ban. This is a year that trans people have fought multiple attacks on our humanity. This is a year that anti-Muslim hate groups have multiplied in a way we haven’t experienced since September 11th, 2001. 9/11 is certainly not the only moment that marks the policing, profiling and surveillance of our communities. Yet agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), policies such as the PATRIOT Act, and registries such as the National Security Entry – Exit Registration System (NSEERS) grew from the Islamophobia that followed that day. These policies are Islamophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, anti-Black forms of state violence that have only multiplied in the last 16 years.

 

For this reason, we will mark the 16th anniversary of 9/11 with a national day of

ACTION

to lift up our voices and create empowering space led by trans and queer Muslims

MOURNING

for all those who have been taken from us too soon

& CELEBRATING

our resistance, resilience, and survival

 

We will lift up the names of all of our people who have been lost to state-sanctioned violence and hate crimes – whether at the hands of law enforcement, immigration enforcement, vigilantes, or white supremacists. And, we will celebrate ourselves on 9/11: our lives, our stories, and our resistance as LGBTQ people of color, in struggle towards #QueerAzaadi / Liberation.

Will you join us?

We have actions planned in Austin, Boston, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.

Click on your city to get involved. Email sasha@nqapia.org for more details, and if you or your organization is willing to lead an action in your city!

Virtual Support

Want to support this weekend of action for #QueerAzaadi, but can’t come to an event in person? We would love your support by amplifying our work through social media!

We’d love for trans and queer Muslims to take over social media on Sunday 9/10 at 5PT / 7CT / 8ET. Can you join us?

Click this link to find sample tweets and posts. We’ll also have pictures from our actions in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston, and Austin on our social media by then as well – we’d really appreciate a repost!

Click to view select photos and reflections from many of the actions.

In the News

Check out these articles from Colorlines, Huffington Post, Asian Pacific Forum, the LA Blade, and the Washington Blade.

Our Goals

  • Reclaiming spaces in which we are normally terrorized: creating spaces that feel empowering for QT Muslim/South Asian/Brown/Black folks on 9/11
  • Lifting up Queer Muslim voices: creating a narrative shift by centering queer and trans Muslim voices in our communities and in media on 9/11
  • Shifting narrative around hate crimes: connecting systems of Islamophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and anti-Blackness in words and actions
  • Building our own capacity: creating safer space for our people to try on planning and being part of direct action
  • Organizing visible mass resistance to the Muslim Ban, and the whole surveillance/security state apparatus, before the SCOTUS hearing on Oct 10th

Partners

#VigilantLove Coalition
18 Million Rising
Advocates for Youth
APALA
API Equality LA
API Equality Northern California
API Resistance
Asian American Resource Workshop
DC Justice for Muslims
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
Gender Justice LA
GetEQUAL
GSA Network
hotpot!
Invisible 2 Invincible: API Pride of Chicago
Justice Warriors for Black Lives
KhushATX
KhushDC
Muslim Justice League
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
Nikkei Progressives
Philly South Asian Coalition
QAPA
Queer Muslims of Boston
Satrang
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Southerners on New Ground
SWANA – LA
Transgender Law Center
Trikone Chicago
Tuesday Night Project
UndocuBlack Network
Washington Peace Center
White People for Black Lives – LA

#QueerAzaadi #NQAPIA

Media Release: NQAPIA Hails Federal Appeals Court for Striking Down Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban

NQAPIA MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 25, 2017
For More Information, Contact: Glenn Magpantay, 917-439-3158, glenn_magpantay@nqapia.org

 

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.

# # #

NQAPIA Urges Federal Appeals Court to Oppose Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Monday, May 15, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. PT EMBARGOED
For More Information, Contact: Glenn Magpantay, 917-439-3158, glenn_magpantay@nqapia.org

NQAPIA Urges Federal Appeals Court to Oppose Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban

NQAPIA’s Amicus Brief Available at: bit.ly/hawaiivtrump

Seattle, WA Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the case Hawaii v. Trump. The case challenges President Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban which bars people from certain Muslim-majority countries and delays all refugees from coming to the United States.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), the NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti Violence Project (AVP), and Immigration Equality, with the pro bono assistance of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the case illustrating the impact of Trump’s Executive Orders on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Brief is here: bit.ly/hawaiivtrump.

NQAPIA received several complaints and provided legal assistance to LGBTQ Muslim people and others who were caught up in Trump’s orders. A federal court in Hawaii suspended the Executive Orders. That order is on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

“Trump’s Executive Orders threaten the lives of immigrants and refugees from all walks of life. Our brief shows the Court how the anti-Muslim and anti-refugee ban have a direct impact on the lives of LGBTQ people and tears families apart,” said Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director.

The brief shows that many LGBTQ people live in countries, including those named in the EO, where homosexuality is criminalized. The EO prevents those who are fleeing oppression due to their sexual orientation or gender identity from entering the U.S. Barring their entry or simply delaying their application for refugee status prevents them from escaping persecution in their home countries or in refugee camps abroad.

Moreover, the brief illustrates the direct impact on the U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (“LPRs”) who have LGBTQ family members who are seeking refuge in the United States. If the EO goes into effect, U.S. citizens and LPRs will be deprived of their constitutionally-protected liberty and interests in maintaining familial relationships with their loved ones. For those citizens and LPRs with LGBTQ family members whose safety is jeopardized by their sexual orientation or gender identity, the threat to these constitutional liberty interests will be particularly profound.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide 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, and expand collaborations to better challenge queerphobia and racism.

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NQAPIA Blasts Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

MEDIA RELEASE for January 26, 2017
Contact: Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director, 909-343-2219, sasha@nqapia.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.

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#NoBanNoWall #RedefineSecurity #NotOurPresident