CAIR Joins Multifaith Supreme Court Brief on Immigration Family Unity Case

kerry-v-din-thumb(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/27/15) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced that it has joined other faith-based organizations in filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court ensuring that "federal immigration laws are interpreted and implemented in a manner that preserves and promotes marital and family unity."

The brief in Kerry v. Din states in part:

"[T]he government asks the Court to allow it to deny visas to non-citizen spouses without any judicial review and, in certain circumstances, without any explanation whatsoever. Such sweeping license to break up families on the government's unreviewable and unsubstantiated say-so would dramatically erode the rights of millions of U.S. citizens that both the Constitution and Congress have guaranteed, impair society's interest in marital and family unity, and contravene this Court's precedents. The Court should reject the government's untenable position and affirm the Ninth Circuit's judgment."

It also states that the fundamental right to marital and family unity is embodied in federal immigration law and that the government's position would erode family unity for the growing number of cross-border families.

"The unreviewable nature of consular decisions denying immigrant visas for the spouses of citizens raises serious due process concerns," said William Burgess, CAIR's senior staff attorney. "These decisions are even more troubling when, as in this case, they impact fundamental constitutional rights such as the right to marry and to raise a family together." 

Other organizations signing on to the brief include:

Refugee and Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ); Mennonite Central Committee; United Sikhs; Franciscan Action Network; Christian Reformed Church in North America, Office Of Social Justice; and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

CAIR recently filed an amicus brief on inmate religious rights with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which is considering whether the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's (TDCJ) policy requiring direct supervision by a chaplain or outside volunteer of inmates who gather in groups for religious services is unconstitutional.

Late last year, CAIR also filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering whether clothing retailer Abercrombie and Fitch's refusal to hire a Muslim woman wearing a religious headscarf (hijab) was discriminatory.

Last week, CAIR applauded a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that a Muslim inmate in Arkansas be permitted to grow a beard in accordance with his religious beliefs.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, [email protected]; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, [email protected]

Civil Rights Groups Concerned About Minneapolis CVE Pilot Program

andrew-lugerAdvocates question whether program is a front for domestic intelligence gathering

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 1/23/15) -- The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today joined with other civil rights organizations in expressing concerns that the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) pilot program, soon be launched in Minneapolis, raises serious civil liberties issues.

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