Home Life America's deportation-industrial complex didn't disappear with Biden's Muslim ban reversal

America's deportation-industrial complex didn't disappear with Biden's Muslim ban reversal

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It was a bitterly cold and windy morning when I stepped out of my apartment on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. Donald Trump just finished his first week as president of the United States, and the night before he issued his first version of the first Muslim ban executive order, temporarily or indefinitely banning the entry of immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. Hours later, Customs and Border Patrol agents began stopping people at John F. Kennedy International Airport, detaining some of them deep in the bowels of the terminals, and preparing to send some of them back to their countries of departure.

As a longtime immigrant rights activist with the New York Immigration Coalition, a child of immigrants from Palestine, and a lifelong Brooklynite, I knew that this situation — immigrants and Muslims being seized, detained and deported at JFK airport, not 10 miles from my home — was something unprecedented. We’d already faced a tumultuous first week of the Trump presidency, with other executive orders attacking immigrants, sowing fear in our communities. But this seemed beyond the pale.



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