poligon

Tell Congress: Pass the NO BAN Act

Picture

Throughout American history, immigration policies have been used to target Jews, Catholics, Mormons and Muslims, among others. With the NO BAN Act in Congress, we have a real chance at ending religious discrimination in immigration laws.

We join over 100 Muslim and immigrants’ rights organizations in applauding the reintroduction of the NO BAN Act, in the House of Representatives on Thursday, February 25. Poligon proudly advocated for and endorsed Rep. Judy Chu’s (D-CA-27) introduction of the bill in 2019 and again in the 117th Congress. The bill is co-sponsored by 137 House Representatives, championed in the Senate by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), and is included in President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. Read Poligon’s full statement here.
We will never forget the countless American families ripped apart by the #MuslimBan and #AfricanBan — we must ensure this discriminatory policy never happens again. Your letter can make a difference.
Tell your Representative to co-sponsor and vote yes on the NO BAN Act today!

The NO BAN Act will:

  • Prevent any president from banning people because of their faith or national origin.
  • Impose limitations on executive authority to suspend or restrict immigrants from entering the U.S.
  • Prohibit religious discrimination in immigration laws, specifically those without statutory basis.

Here’s a sample call script to get you started:
Hello, my name is ______ and I’m a constituent of Representative _____. I’m calling to ask you to vote to pass the NO BAN Act. Banning individuals on the basis of religion and ethnicity does not represent American values and it violates our Constitution. I urge Representative _____ to vote “YES” on supporting the No Ban Act. Will the Representative do so?

Have questions? Email us at info@poligonnational.org.

Poligon’s Statement on the Reintroduction of the NO BAN Act in the House of Representatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
​February 25, 2021
Contact: media@poligonnational.org
Poligon Commends the Reintroduction of the NO BAN Act in the House of Representatives 

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund released the following statement regarding the reintroduction of the NO BAN Act in the House of Representatives: 

Poligon Education Fund joins over 100 Muslim and immigrants’ rights organizations in applauding the reintroduction of the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, also known as the NO BAN Act, in the House of Representatives today. Poligon proudly advocated for and endorsed Rep. Judy Chu’s (D-CA-27) introduction of the bill in 2019 and again today in the 117th Congress. The bill is co-sponsored by 137 House Representatives,  championed in the Senate by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), and is included in President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. 

The NO BAN Act imposes limitations on the President’s authority to suspend or restrict immigrants from entering the U.S. and prohibits religious discrimination in immigration-related decisions without statutory basis. We urge Congress to pass this historic bill once again and ensure no future administration can bar the entry of individuals to the U.S. based on their religious background and national origin. 

Poligon’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Johanna Mustafa, issued the following statement:
“The Muslim and African Bans have traumatized our communities for the past four years, separated many families and inflicted unimaginable suffering. Today, we honor the story of Abdullah Hassan, a 2-year old who died in Oakland, away from loved ones. As we continue to advocate for the passage of the NO BAN Act, we hold the stories of Abdullah and the tens of thousands of people who suffered under this cruel policy, and recognize the reintroduction of the NO BAN Act in the 117th Congress as a step forward in the collective fight for justice.” 

Although Poligon celebrated the repeal of the Muslim Ban on the first day of the Biden Administration, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring meaningful policy change. We demand the passage of the NO BAN Act in Congress to prevent discriminatory laws from targeting our immigrant communities in the future. 

### 

Poligon Education Fund is a national non profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to strengthening Muslim American engagement with Congress through research, education, and advocacy.

Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.

THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

Picture

Congress is moving quickly to pass the next COVID-19 relief package this week, as COVID-19 has now claimed more than 500,000 lives, and disproportionately impacted high numbers of Black and Brown lives! This is the time to act. You may have heard of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, a comprehensive legislation known as the “American Rescue Plan”. 

The American Rescue Plan will:

  • Increase access to vaccinations, COVID-19 testing, and PPE;
  • Extend Unemployment Insurance, food assistance, and stimulus checks;
  • Extend eviction and foreclosure moratoria;
  • Provide financial support for small businesses and school reopening plans;
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15/hour, and much more!

Find your Representative and urge them to support the American Rescue Plan! The livelihood of American families are at stake, and it is up to us to hold our Members of Congress accountable.

Poligon Commends Federal Appeals Court Decision Against Muslim Ban 3.0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2018
CONTACT: info@poligonnational.org
Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund welcomes the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision against President Trump’s third Muslim ban. The Court found that despite superficial revisions of previous versions of the travel ban, it “continues to exhibit a primarily religious anti-Muslim objective.”

​The ban prevents immigrants and many visitors from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen – as well as certain Venezuelan government officials and their families – from entering the United States. Six of the eight countries affected are majority-Muslim. Despite being blocked by multiple district courts, the Supreme Court has allowed the ban to remain in effect while lawsuits against it proceed through the judicial process.

“Just as with the ruling against the ban by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in December, this ruling affirms that the ban is unconstitutional and goes against our nation’s values of religious freedom,” said Poligon Acting Executive Director Afif Rahman. “However, families separated by the ban are still waiting for relief from this oppressive policy. Unless Congress acts to block implementation of the ban, we will have to wait until the Supreme Court issues a ruling on whether it is constitutional.”

Poligon Education Fund strongly opposes all iterations of the Muslim ban and continues to encourage members of Congress to do the same.Poligon Education Fund is a non profit, non-partisan organization working to strengthen Muslim American engagement with Congress through education and advocacy on issues of concern to the community and its allies. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.

###

May and April Newsletter

Salaam! These past two months, Poligon has transitioned from virtual to in-person networking and facilitation of advocacy trainings. Below are your latest updates from May and June.
ADVOCACY TRANINGS
Poligon Trained Over 300 Muslim Delegates on Capitol Hill

On June 13-14, Poligon joined the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) and more than 300 Muslim delegates from 20 states for the USCMO’s 7th Annual Muslim Advocacy Days. Our Poligon team delivered a virtual advocacy training on June 8th and kicked off the in-person program with our signature advocacy training to ensure all delegates are prepared for their lobby meetings with Congressional offices. Additionally, our trainers briefed the participants on the 4 issues the delegation advocated for: 
Hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable for its “CP3” Countering Violent Extremism program and demand transparency in reporting. 
Demand a pathway to lawful residence and citizenship for Afghan refugees.
Cancel student debt, and institute a zero-interest loan program.
Urge the Senate to pass the Combating Global Islamophobia Act (S. 3384)


Poligon Trained the American Muslim Health Professionals
On May 25, Poligon facilitated a virtual advocacy training with our partners from the American Muslim Health Professionals. The training was hosted only days after the heart-wrenching news from Uvalde, Texas, and held space for community members to grieve, pray, and learn how to take action. It was not lost on us that mass shootings are a public health issue that every American should be concerned about. 

Poligon Attended Muslim Public Service Network Events
Poligon Founder and Board President, Wardah Khalid, and Policy Staff Members, Johanna Mustafa, and Dalaal Jaber, joined the Muslim Public Service Network (MPSN) for two community networking events at the MPSN residence. We were proud to meet with the MPSN Fellows and speak with them about our work and ways they can pursue professional careers in policy. The fellows are young Muslim leaders from all walks of life who are spending their summer interning at public service institutions like Congress and the State Department.

Poligon’s Statement on President Joe Biden Rescission of the Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
​January 20, 2021
Contact: media@poligonnational.org
​Poligon’s Statement on President Joe Biden Rescission of the Muslim Ban

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Joe Biden repealed President Trump’s Muslim and Africa travel bans. 

Poligon’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Johanna Mustafa, issued the following statement:
“We are relieved to witness the repeal of this ban, which has traumatized the community for the last four years. The Muslim and African bans separated many families and inflicted unimaginable suffering. Today, I am thinking of Abdullah Hassan, a 2-year old who died in Oakland, away from loved ones. As we celebrate today’s victory we honor the stories of Abdullah and the tens of thousands of people who are still waiting to reunite with their families, and recognize this win as a testament to the power we hold. We win when we organize and come together for collective justice.”

Poligon is proud to have played a role in repealing the Muslim and African Ban, and acknowledges the attorneys, advocates, organizers, impacted communities, and allies who were at the frontlines of the movement in the airports and streets. We fought the racist ban since the first executive order in January 2017 and fought harder with every iteration and expansion of the ban. 
Earlier today, the Biden-Harris administration released a fact sheet outlining a number of comprehensive executive actions that include:

  • Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and providing economic relief and support to working families;
  • Preserving DACA protections;
  • Deferred enforced departure for Liberians; 
  • Termination of border wall construction; and 
  • Reversing the Muslim and African bans;

These priorities are a reflection of the people’s plight and commitment towards advancing justice for all. Vulnerable communities who have experienced family separation, loss, and suffering in the past four years, persevered in the face of injustice and organized for collective liberation. 

We continue to advocate for democracy reform under the For the People Act (H.R.1/ S.1) to ensure a democracy that works for all. We continue to stand firm in protecting the civil liberties of Black, Indigenous, people of color, and our priorities remain rooted in centering impacted communities. We urge the Biden-Harris administration to fulfill its promise to advance racial equity and protect marginalized communities beyond the policies released today, and help us in the fight against anti-Muslim discrimination, hate crimes, racial profiling, surveillance laws, police brutality, and white supremacy, among many other issues impacting our community. The movement for civil liberties, and social, economic, and environmental justice is not over. 

###
Poligon Education Fund is a national non profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to strengthening Muslim American engagement with Congress through research, education, and advocacy. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.

Press Release: Poligon Education Fund ​Condemns White Supremacist Attack On The U.S. Capitol

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2021
Contact: media@poligonnational.org

​Poligon Condemns White Supremacist Attack on the U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. –Poligon Education Fund released the following statement regarding the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol by white supremacist militias in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election: 

Poligon Education Fund condemns the violence inflicted by white supremacist militias and supporters of President Trump at the halls of Congress yesterday. A woman was shot and killed, our elected officials and their staff hid in their chambers as they prayed for their lives, and explosives and weapons were found on Capitol grounds. The attack on the Capitol is an attack on our democracy and on the American people. 

The violence we witnessed is an attempt to erase the fact that in the midst of a pandemic, millions of Americans have turned out in record numbers to vote against the last four years of divisive, racist governance. Even when a powerful few have continuously made it difficult for people to exercise their voting rights, marginalized communities spoke truth to power. In the face of intimidation, violence, and loss, voters reaffirmed their rights and echoed their voices in the halls of power. Poligon, alongside coalition partners and allies, has mobilized millions of voters and will not stand down in the face of this insurrection. 

We commend Congress for its steadfastness in completing the vote count and certifying the election results. We demand members of Congress continue to work towards the peaceful transition of the newly elected administration, and ensure an extensive investigation and full accountability of all groups involved in the white supremacist militant attack, including leaders who have repeatedly empowered  this hateful rhetoric. President Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy and his previous command to “stand back and stand by” did not only fuel an attack on our Capitol, but also paved the way for violence in statehouses all around the nation. 

The striking difference in the law enforcement’s efforts to protect the Capitol against Black Lives Matter defenders in June of 2020 and against white supremacist militias yesterday is a reminder of the deep, systemic violence harming our communities. We honor the victims of white supremacist violence and recognize the militarized, selective, and racist law enforcement practices. When exercising their right to protest, Black Lives Matter activists and indigenous rights defenders were met with police dogs, mace, militarized surveillance, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Not too long ago, black and brown children were tear gassed at peaceful protests. 

Poligon reaffirms its commitment to continue to hold our newly elected Congress and administration to account, to not only tackle the hateful rhetoric that threatens our communities, but also build a nation that keeps its people safe and allows everyone to thrive. This begins with coming together to swear in new leaders elected by the people, for the people.  

###
Poligon Education Fund is a non profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to strengthening Muslim American engagement with Congress through training, education, and advocacy. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.

Congress Passes $900 COVID Relief Bill, But Poligon’s Work Continues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2020
​Contact: media@poligonnational.org

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund released the following statement on the congressional passage of COVID-19 relief legislation: 

Poligon Education Fund reaffirms its commitment to amplifying the most vulnerable populations and minority groups in the halls of power. After months of tireless advocacy efforts and a long stalemate in Congress, Poligon supports the release of immediate relief, but recognizes the shortcomings of the bipartisan $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. 

Poligon applauds the following provisions in the package:

  • Additional $300 per week through unemployment insurance and a federal unemployment insurance 
  • $284 billion in loans for businesses 
  • $69 billion in testing and vaccine distribution funds  
  • $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance and a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium
  • $20 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
  • $13 billion in food assistance
    • Increases SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 months
    • Ensures college students have access to SNAP
    • Additional funding for food banks and senior nutrition programs
    • Emergency funds for school and day care feeding programs

We recognize that the current relief package falls far from providing adequate and just recovery to vulnerable communities. Almost a year later, marginalized populations including black, indigeneous, people of color, and immigrant communities who have been systematically struggling prior to the coronavirus pandemic continue to be the most impacted. The relief package also dismisses adult dependents, some of whom suffer from disabilities. It repairs the cruel exclusion of 3.5 million citizens who reside with families of “mixed immigration statuses,” but once again fails to include millions of undocumented individuals in the economic relief, many of whom serve as frontline workers. 

Poligon’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Johanna Mustafa, issued the following statement:
“We are a nation of abundance and wealth where struggling families deserve urgent and lasting change. As we move forward with a new Congress in 2021, Poligon will continue to work towards the inclusion of vulnerable communities. While we support the economic relief this package will provide, we recognize that the American people need more help than this bill provides. Poligon urges Congress to pass another round of direct stimulus checks to help families who have been struggling for months. Our tax dollars must be invested in our communities and center the domestic human needs and rights of our people.”

READ: Poligon’s Statement on the Passage of the COVID-19 Relief Package

Congress Passes $900 COVID Relief Bill, But Poligon’s Work Continues

Poligon’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Johanna Mustafa, issued the following statement:
“We are a nation of abundance and wealth where struggling families deserve urgent and lasting change. As we move forward with a new Congress in 2021, Poligon will continue to work towards the inclusion of vulnerable communities. While we support the economic relief this package will provide, we recognize that the American people need more help than this bill provides. Poligon urges Congress to pass another round of direct stimulus checks to help families who have been struggling for months. Our tax dollars must be invested in our communities and center the domestic human needs and rights of our people.”

Read full statement here.

BREAKING: Congress Passes $900 Billion COVID-19 Relief Package

Picture

Congress passed a $2.3 trillion package, which included $1.4 trillion to fund the government and $900 billion in coronavirus relief. The bill now goes to President Trump’s desk, where he has until December 28th to sign it. 

The relief package includes:

  • $600 per person stimulus checks – for individuals earning $75,000 and less per year and $600 for their children.
  • Additional $300 per week​ through unemployment insurance and a federal unemployment insurance 
  • $284 billion in loans for businesses 
  • $69 billion in testing and vaccine distribution funds  
  • $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance and a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium
  • $20 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
  • $13 billion in food assistance 
    • ​Increases SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 months
    • Ensures college students have access to SNAP
    • Additional funding for food banks and senior nutrition programs
    • Emergency funds for school and day care feeding programs
  • $10 billion for Postal Service

The bill did not include the controversial corporate immunity provision. The package also lift out immigrants from receiving aid and state and local government funding. 

Congress is set to go on recess until the new year but is already turning its attention to a potential sixth package.