Tell Congress: Pass the Access to Legal Counsel Act
No food, no water, no access to legal counsel. We can’t let Trump’s racist right-wing government continue to violate our civil liberties.
Reports from immigrants arrested and detained at airports when Trump’s first Muslim ban took effect reveal that federal agents denied many people food, water and access to legal counsel for days. Federal courts have now struck down two versions of Trump’s xenophobic, unconstitutional Muslim ban but we can’t just sit back and let these atrocious violations go unchecked.
Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Pramila Jayapal have introduced the Access to Legal Counsel Act, which would give immigrants detained by federal agents at U.S. borders and in detention centers the right to access legal counsel and prohibit immigration officials from denying them food and water.1 Congress must protect people from Trump’s cruel anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim policies, and passing the Access to Legal Counsel Act is a good first step.
Tell Congress: Muslims and immigrants should be treated with dignity. Pass the Access to Legal Counsel Act.
Under Trump’s Muslim bans, immigration officials:2
- Refused to give food to a Syrian father and his daughters and tricked him into signing documents that waived his family’s right to enter the United States with valid visas.
- Denied a Sudanese health care worker living in Ohio access to an attorney and sent her back to Sudan where she had been visiting family.
- Lied to an attorney attempting to contact his client, a Jordanian national who should not have been affected by the travel ban but was sent to Frankfurt, Germany after immigration officials noticed he was born in Syria.
Recent media reports indicate that Customs and Border Patrol agents are harassing travelers, including United States citizens, at border crossings by demanding cell phone and social media passwords. In recent weeks, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested undocumented immigrants at their children’s schools, in hospitals and outside places of worship. This is not normal. This is not okay.
There’s no doubt that these blatant civil liberties violations will continue if Congress doesn’t act. Trump’s Department of Justice is planning to appeal the latest injunctions and attempt to restore the Muslim ban. His rogue deportation force keeps terrorizing immigrants at our borders and in communities across the country.
The collapse of Trumpcare showed that we can block the Trump agenda when Democrats stay united, stand up for progressive values and fight alongside the vulnerable. And recently, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations announced that it will not include funding for Trump's border wall as part of the 2017 budget negotiations.3 Our activisim is working. Add your support for the Access to Legal Counsel Act now to keep the momentum going.
Thank you for all you do.
- Sarah D. Wire, “Sen. Kamala Harris pushes to guarantee access to legal counsel for those detained upon entry to the U.S.” Los Angeles Times, Feb. 9, 2017.
- Nicole Hensley, “Travelers held during Trump ban recall being denied food, lawyers,” New York Daily News, Feb. 8, 2017.
- Alexander Bolton, “Border wall funding likely to be put on hold,” The Hill, March 28, 2017.