The leader of an Oklahoma Muslim advocacy group is one of the plaintiffs named in a lawsuit filed against the Trump administration’s recent immigration ban imposed on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., challenging Trump’s executive order. The lawsuit characterizes the ban as a first step in fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise to impose “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” until the government “can figure out what is going on.”
Trump’s order suspends immigration for citizens of the seven countries for 90 days. Trump has said the action is being falsely characterized as a “Muslim ban.”
At a news conference Monday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump is “doing exactly what he told the American people he would do.”
“The president will always put the safety and prosperity of our country first and foremost,” Spicer said.
In addition to the travel ban directed at the seven countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — the executive order also temporarily suspends admission of refugees, but makes an exception for religious persecution of those practicing a religion that makes them a minority in their home country.
Tuesday, Adam Soltani, executive director of CAIR-Oklahoma, said his name was added to CAIR’s lawsuit, along with the names of several other leaders of CAIR chapters around the country and some Muslim American activists.
“They wanted to make sure that there was enough people on there to cover the spectrum of our community across the United States and represent different regions of our country because this obviously has an impact on Muslims across the country,” Soltani said.
He said he and others in the CAIR organization ultimately hope the courts rule that the immigration ban is unconstitutional.
“We hope that the outcome of this lawsuit and the other forms of protest and community activism that have continued to take place around the country is that this Muslim ban would get overturned and our country would continue to be a safe haven for immigrants and refugees — one of the core principals that our country was founded upon so many years ago.”
CONTRIBUTING: The Associated Press, The Oklahoman’s Religion Editor Carla Hinton