BREAKING: ADC Sues US Government for Endorsing Discrimination Against Palestinian and Arab Americans

BREAKING: ADC Sues US Government for Endorsing Discrimination Against Palestinian and Arab Americans

Washington, DC | | September 26, 2023 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), represented by lawyers Sam Jarjour and Huwaida Arraf, has filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan against the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State in defense of civil rights for Arab and Palestinian Americans. Credible reports and ADC’s own investigations have shown that DHS is on the cusp of allowing Israel into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), despite Israel failing to meet all of the legal requirements for admission. 

The court filing demonstrates that DHS is not following the law by redefining the meaning of reciprocity, a central tenet of the VWP which requires that participating countries treat all American citizens equally. In doing so, DHS is improperly assessing Israel’s eligibility and taking what is known as “arbitrary and capricious action”. Based on the law governing agency actions (Administrative Procedures Act), ADC is asking the court to halt further actions to admit Israel into the VWP.

Even within the new policies announced by Israel are a myriad of ways that American citizens are discriminated against, and that separate and unequal system has no place in a US program. Among these are the continued discrimination against Palestinian Americans from Gaza, the restrictions on how Palestinian Americans can cross checkpoints into the Occupied West Bank, the inability of Palestinian Americans to rent cars, and the invasive and inhumane treatment of Palestinian Americans when they try to return to the US.

ADC National Executive Director Abed Ayoub said, “The requirements of the Visa Waiver Program are clear and unambiguous. The US government is obligated to ensure that all Americans are treated equally. It is our intent to hold the US government accountable for any actions that create separate classes of US citizens. Admitting Israel into the Visa Waiver Program would be an endorsement of discrimination against Palestinian and Arab Americans.”

For interviews with the plaintiffs, legal experts, or civil rights advocates, contact:

If you have traveled to Israel recently, ADC encourages you to fill out this travel experience survey. The more information we gather, the stronger our case will be. If you have encountered issues while traveling to Israel, it is imperative that you fill out this US Embassy form. Your information will be private and protected, and this is the best way to prove to the US that Israel refuses to treat Americans equally.

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