WASHINGTON, DC – A group of Muslim faith leaders and activists were arrested yesterday in a protest fighting for rights of undocumented immigrants, also attended by diverse groups representing Black, Latino, Arab, South Asian, and other communities from across the US.
“We cannot let any community suffer in isolation or we will all pay the price,” imam Omar Suleiman, a prominent Muslim leader from Dallas, Texas, said after being arrested, Medium.com reported.
Suleiman and others demonstrated in Washington, DC, Monday to demand that Congress pass a clean Dream Act and protect immigrant youth.
The protest was organized in a reaction to the lapse of the Trump-imposed deadline for Congress to take action regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
MPower Change, a grassroots Muslim organization with more than 230,000 members, brought the group together.
They then joined a rally headlined by United We Dream and a number of immigrant justice and progressive groups, who marched together from the American History Museum to the Capitol Building.
The Muslim faith leaders and MPower Change members called on Congress to move quickly to pass legislation to protect the 800,000 immigrant youth covered by DACA, hundreds of whom face the risk of detention and deportation for every day that Congress fails to act.
The leaders were released later on Monday after being arrested in front of Speaker Paul Ryan’s office.
Standing for Rights
Imams in the group spoke of the Islamic imperative to protect and provide shelter for migrants, standing in sharp contrast to the Trump administration’s caricature of Muslims.
“Our faith tradition holds a special status for immigrants who’ve left their lands searching for a better way of life. We call upon Congress to pass legislation to protect DACA recipients under the previous administration from the undue burden of leaving their families and communities which they’ve positively contributed to,” Imam Dawud Walid, a leading activist from Detroit, Michigan, stated.
“Every day, the Trump administration works to divide us,” said MPower Change Executive Director Linda Sarsour.
“But what is stronger are the things that unite us: our dreams and our faith. We’re here today to stand with our undocumented sisters and brothers — whether they’re Muslim or from any other background — and demand that Congress pass a clean Dream Act now.”
— Yasin Dwyer (@YasinDwyer) March 6, 2018
“When I was only eight years old, I came to the U.S. with my parents as we migrated from Colombia. I’m grateful to God to be standing here at the Capitol today and would like the same opportunity to be given to all Dreamers,” said Imam Mujahid Fletcher of Houston, Texas, a prominent leader in the Latino Muslim community.
“We can’t allow our immigrant youth to be punished and stripped away from the only lives they know — which is right here, in our families and communities, as Americans in America.”
“Deportation of the Dreamers is immoral. If you’re a moral person, you have to stand with the Dreamers,” said Imam Zaid Shakir of Oakland, California.