Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden says he will overturn President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting several predominantly Muslim countries on his first day in office if elected president in the November elections.
The former US vice president and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to challenge Trump in his re-election bid, says that the Muslim communities were the first to feel Trump’s assault on Black and brown communities in this country with his vile travel ban.
Biden promises to overturn Trump’s Muslim ban
Trump placed travel restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries in January 2017, shortly after he took office. The president had argued that the travel ban was for national security purposes.
“That fight was the opening barrage in what has been nearly four years of constant pressure and insults, and attacks against Muslim American communities,” Biden told the ‘Emgage Action’, the largest Muslim political group in the United States.
“Donald Trump has fanned the flames of hate in this country across the board through his words, his policies, his appointments, his deeds, and he continues to fan those flames,” Biden said. “Under this administration, we’ve seen an unconscionable rise in Islamophobia.”
“I will end the Muslim ban on day one. Day one. And I will work with Congress to pass hate crimes legislation like the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act and the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act,” Biden said to attendees of the Million Muslim Votes Summit, an online conference hosted by Emgage Action, the nation’s largest Muslim-American political group.
One of Trump’s first actions as president in 2017 was to suspend entry to the United States of travelers from seven majority Muslim nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, for 90 days. The executive order created chaos at airports around the world, and lawsuits against the ban quickly followed.
Biden’s remarks came shortly after ‘Emgage Action’ endorsed him in a letter to supporters. It organised an online ‘Million Muslim Vote Summit’ as part of a campaign to have one million Muslim voters cast their ballots in the 2020 presidential elections.
“We’re putting our trust in you,” Khurrum Wahid, a Pakistani-American who is the chairperson for Emgage Action’s board, told Biden. “We have a swing state strategy and we will deliver for you Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida,” he added.
“We will activate large groups of voters in Texas and Arizona. We will turn out one million votes nationally. We’re going to ask everyone we know to ‘vote Joe’ on November 3rd,” Wahid added.
Biden showed his appreciation for Muslim voters
Biden, who spoke for about 10 minutes, did not answer questions. He described Islam as “one of the great confessional faiths” and decried recent spikes in hate crimes as well as appointments of government officials with histories of anti-Muslim comments.
If elected, Biden said, “we could work together to right the wrongs and see our world bettered, with our hearts, with our hands, with our votes.” He added: “We cannot afford another four years of a Trump presidency.”
He noted that Muslim-American communities were organising like never before to maximise “our voter turnout and to ensure that our voices” were represented. “Muslim-Americans’ voices matter … but we all know that your voice hasn’t always gotten recognised and represented.” Biden promised that under his administration this would change. “That’s your right as a citizen.”
The summit was also joined by Democratic politicians and Muslim activists, including Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Debbie Dingell, Congressman Andy Kim and Andy Levin, former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed and Muslim activist Linda Sarsour.
Biden believes schools in the US should teach more about Islam. He says more knowledge among young people on Islam would stop the rise in Islamophobia. Joe Biden said schools should ramp up the curriculum in Islam studies so they can educate more about Islam. As this would ward off negative perceptions against the religion.
He expressed these views while addressing the Muslim Million Votes summit organized by EmgaGE Actions. “I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith. I wish we talked about all the great confessional faiths. It’s one of the great confessional faiths,” Biden said on Monday.
Joe Biden speaks to Million Muslim Votes Summit: "I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith." pic.twitter.com/ZsWfapCyXS
— The Hill (@thehill) July 20, 2020
“What people don’t realize is … we all come from the same root here, in terms of our fundamental basic beliefs. I just want to thank you for allowing me to be engaged, for committing to action this November,” Biden said in his speech.
Biden and Trump’s climate change policies very different
Biden’s promise to overturn the Muslim ban has not been the only thing that him and Trump have differed on.
Earlier, he unveiled an ambitious, $2 trillion climate change plan that would revamp the US energy sector and seek to achieve carbon pollution-free power in just 15 years.
The clean energy proposal was fleshed out in a speech in Wilmington as the veteran Democrat aimed to draw a contrast with President Donald Trump ahead of November’s election by arguing that fighting climate change would be a massive job creator under a Biden administration.
Insisting that “there’s no more consequential challenge” today than climate change, Biden pledged to spend $2 trillion over four years to promote his plan, a dramatic acceleration of the $1.7 trillion he had proposed to spend over 10 years during the primary race.
“Transforming the American electrical sector to produce power without producing carbon pollution… will be the greatest spurring of job creation and economic competitiveness in the 21st century,” Biden said.
Imagine the future we can create with Donald Trump out of the White House. A future where we:
– Tackle the climate crisis
– Build a new American economy
– End our gun violence epidemic
– Ensure our government works for all, not just the wealthy few
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 20, 2020
In remarks near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee sought to reframe the politics of climate change. He rebuffed arguments from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies that Democratic plans to invest in clean energy would cost jobs.
GVS News Desk with additional input from other sources