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Muslim Ban & Extreme Vetting

We are fighting President Trump’s Muslim ban and extreme vetting policies in the courts and advocating for Congress to overturn these measures.


Having prom­ised to ban Muslims from the United States during his campaign, Pres­id­ent Trump has repeatedly tried to block trav­el­ers from several Muslim-major­ity coun­tries from enter­ing the United States. His first attempt left thou­sands of trav­el­ers stran­ded at airports and gener­ated weeks of protests. After federal courts across the coun­try blocked the ban, the Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect in June 2018. Today, it contin­ues to tear apart famil­ies. 

But the fight against the ban is not over. The Supreme Court’s ruling allowed a lawsuit we filed to continue in the trial court, and we are vigor­ously work­ing to over­turn the ban through litig­a­tion. We are also work­ing to promote the NO BAN Act, legis­la­tion to over­turn the ban. 

In addi­tion, a new rule that stems from the Muslim ban requires the nearly 15 million people who apply for visas each year to turn over their social media handles to the U.S. govern­ment. These extreme vetting meas­ures are designed to make it harder for people to travel to the U.S. They also facil­it­ate discrim­in­a­tion and ideo­lo­gical vetting by examin­ing trav­el­ers’ speech online. The scheme is not justi­fied by national secur­ity. The U.S. already has a robust vetting system: From 1975 through 2017, the chance of being murdered by a foreign-born terror­ist on U.S. soil was 1 in 3.8 million annu­ally. 

Bren­nan Center for Justice is lead­ing the fight to roll back extreme vetting. We led a success­ful effort to persuade the admin­is­tra­tion to back down from its plans to auto­mate extreme vetting of trav­el­ers’ social media accounts. But other elements of the program remain in place and have been expan­ded, and we are continu­ing to push back against them. 

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