Dear APPNA Members,
These are trying times for immigrants in general and Muslim immigrants in particular. World is changing rapidly and we have to step up our efforts to keep up with uncertain times and tackle new challenges that we are facing today. There is heightened anxiety about recent executive order by President Trump to impose a travel ban on 7 countries of Muslim majority. Last few days have been of grave concern as travelers have been detained at various US airports and US citizens have responded with protests and rallies. There is a serious concern that similar restrictions may be placed on travelers from Pakistan.
I want to reassure all APPNA members that we are being proactive in taking constructive steps to address the current issue at hand. It may be of some reassurance to many that US citizens and Green Card holders are not included in this executive order. Yesterday, I called Chair of Advocacy committee, Dr. Rashid Piracha and an urgent meeting was held on January 31st to discuss and devise a comprehensive plan of action. The meeting was attended by all the members of executive committee, chair, co-chair and members of Advocacy committee. A multi-prong approach was devised to deal with the challenge at hand.
It will require our collective resolve and resources including man power and finances. If there was ever a time to for Physicians of Pakistani Descent to come together in unity and join hands together in an effort to safeguard our civil rights, then this is it.
Briefly, the following plan was discussed:
1. An urgent fundraising needs to be done to raise the required funds for various activities that will be undertaken in next few weeks and months. The committee members pledged $1000 each as contribution towards the Advocacy fund.
2. Arrange a Day on the Hill as soon as possible to engage our legislators and register our deep concern about the executive order which is endangering the very fabric of American Values.
3. Engage all the chapters to activate and involve local members in an effort to reach out to their respective legislators and register their protest and dissent. A letter will be sent out to all Chapter Presidents urgently.
4. Consulting top immigration lawyers to advise us about potential ramifications of the executive order vis a vis foreign travel. We have requested specific advice on all categories of visa holders. The advice will be shared with the membership as soon as it is available.
5. Contact law firms/organizations that routinely deal with visa/immigration issues to address potential consequences of somebody who is already in a foreign country and is facing any difficultly coming back to USA.
Here is some useful information: The Association of Muslim American Lawyers ("AMAL") announced that AMAL board members are offering legal representations and their respective firms are offering pro bono services to the community. They are at various airports in New York and New Jersey in case travelers need assistance due to any immigration hurdles under light of the executive order.
May Mansour has her firm Simpson and Thacher & Bartlett dispatch attorneys to New York airports. Contact number: 917 756-4136
Ally Hack's firm, Cozen & O'connor at (212) 453-3813
Omar Mohammedi at OTMLAW, (212) 725-3846
Iman Boukadoum at 703 424-8463
Tariq Hussain at Hussain & Khan, 201 893-5498
Jennifer Ismat at (917) 704 3912.
Muslim Legal Fund OF America offers help. Mr. Khalil Meek 972-849-9188 firstname.lastname@example.org.
APPNA will do everything in its power to safe guard the civil rights of its members and their families in this critical time. I urge every Physician of Pakistani Descent to renew their APPNA membership and become actively involved. Strength is in numbers when it comes to getting our voice heard in the chambers of Capital Hill so we can defend and protect our rights and rights of our children.
If you would like to participate in the advocacy committee please contact APPNA Secretary Dr. Rizwan Khalid at 203-892-5140 or email at email@example.com.
Please send your contribution to APPNA Office & memo to Advocacy Fund.
Mail to: 6414 South Cass Ave
Westmont, IL 60559-3209
Sajid Chaudhary, MD
President APPNA 2017