First they came for the Muslims…..

“I am appalled at today’s Supreme Court ruling,” said Madelyn Hoffman, New Jersey Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in New Jersey. “U.S. foreign policy continues to wreak havoc in the world – causing tremendous death and destruction in many Muslim majority countries – and now the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that it is OK to deny refuge to those who are fleeing our bombs due to ‘national security concerns.’ This is a violation of the 1st amendment and all of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, must be concerned.”

“Far better than a discriminatory travel ban would be to end the wars! This ruling comes when indignation and rage over the U.S. treatment of migrant children and their families at the border is rightfully building in intensity. That same level of rage needs to be directed at this ruling and the actions of this country which are ripping families and communities apart all over the Muslim world as well.”

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling is deeply troubling and frightening and in the tradition of Dred Scott, Korematsu and Shelby. Dred Scott and Korematsu were decisions that deprived a group of their rights of citizenship, based on either the color of their skin or their nationality.  In a shameful decision made in 1857, the Dred Scott case affirmed that a “Negro” (to use the terminology of the day) had no constitutional rights the law was required to uphold. In Korematsu, decided in 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066 which ordered Japanese-Americans into internment camps regardless of citizenship. In Shelby County v Holder 2013, the provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 allowing review of state’s voting rules and regulations to determine if they were discriminatory was overturned. Despite past discriminatory practices, states’ voting rules and regulations can no longer be legally scrutinized for racial bias.  

In today’s June 26, 2018 Hawaii ruling, Muslims traveling to the United States from Syria, Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia can be denied visas in “the interest of national security.” It is no coincidence that these are countries in which the United States is involved in some kind of war, either overt or covert.

In Syria, the United States is both supporting groups that are engaged in an undeclared war on Syria and on the ground in Syria with multiple military bases. The U.S. recently withdrew from the Iran Deal, a  diplomatic agreement reached after years of negotiation with Iran and 6 other countries – a deal that prevented war. In Libya, the U.S. overthrew and killed Moamar Ghadaffi in 2011, leaving a power vacuum that remains today. Slave trade has returned to Libya.

The U.S. is providing material support to Saudi Arabia for its war on Yemen, including the refueling of Saudi war planes and helping to enforce a crippling embargo on the Yemeni port of Hodeida, contributing to devastating and widespread famine throughout that country. According to UNICEF, one Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes from preventable diseases. As for Somalia, more U.S. troops were sent there just over a year ago.

The United States is thus responsible for creating death and destruction in these Muslim majority countries without officially having declared war (another constitutional violation). This is bad enough, but then the U.S. is denying refuge to families should they try to leave their country for the United States. These countries have become pressure cookers for their residents – there is no escape – and their rights to travel are denied due solely to their nationality and their religion.  

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