1882: Anti-Chinese travel ban; 1952: Anti-LGBT travel ban; 1987: Anti-HIV travel ban; 2017: Anti-Muslim travel ban // Tell them: #NeverAgain #QueerAzaadi www.nomuslimbanever.com

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

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.


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.


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.


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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