Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

Human Rights Agency Voices Moral Outrage at SCOTUS Travel Ban Decision

"That this policy should be allowed to continue is frankly a moral outrage" -- Rachel Freed, vice president and chief program officer

Media Contacts:
Jan Dragin, Dragin Communications, jdragin[@]gmail.com, 24/7, (339) 236-0679
Mike Givens, UUSC, mgivens[@]uusc.org, (857) 540-0617

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAMBRIDGE, Mass./WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 26, 2018 — The human rights organization Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) had harsh judgment on today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaiiwhich upheld President Trump’s ban restricting travel to the United States from five predominately-Muslim countries.

“This ruling may speak to the court’s consensus and President Trump’s intentions, but it does little to protect the rights of minority groups, which we have long looked to the Supreme Court to do,” said UUSC Vice President and Chief Program Officer Rachel Freed. “That this policy should be allowed to continue is frankly a moral outrage and, according to extensive documentation, and despite the Trump administration’s evidence to the contrary, is not based on national security concerns.”

The Court’s decision affects travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, five of the original seven predominately-Muslim countries included in Trump’s first travel ban. All five countries have seen an exodus of refugees in recent years, many fleeing conflicts in which the United States has played a major role. The original order was amended no less than three times to its current iteration to avoid and address earlier legal challenges.

“UUSC protested the ban from its outset,” said Freed, “calling out the policy’s inherent and explicit religious discrimination.” UUSC joined a group of 39 interfaith organizations spanning a broad range of beliefs in signing amicus briefs, reaffirming its commitment to welcoming immigrants and refugees and supporting them as they build their lives in the United States.

Love Resists, a joint campaign from UUSC and the Unitarian Universalist Association, has worked extensively to build supportive and inclusive communities to combat and change the harmful narrative around immigrants and refugees coming from this White House. That work is in direct resistance to the Trump administration’s callous efforts to criminalize and dehumanize migrants.

“We were encouraged by the court’s April 25 deliberations, including commentary by conservative members, that there might be light at the end of the tunnel,” said Freed. “That hope is, for now, darkened.”

“We have received a shock today,” she continued, “and our nation’s image is further tarnished, but we are in solidarity with human rights and religious freedom advocates and the blameless citizens of the affected countries.”

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UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies.