Civil rights groups gear up after Supreme Court upholds Trump's travel ban

Cherri Gregg
June 26, 2018 - 4:38 pm
People protest against the travel restrictions and limitations under Presidential Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, in Washington D.C. on Oct. 18, 2017.

Xinhua/Sipa USA

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A coalition of civil rights leaders held a press conference at the Friends Center Tuesday to denounce the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven mostly Muslim countries. 

Local leaders are gearing up to take action.

"We are going to continue this fight," said Timothy Welbeck, a civil rights attorney for CAIR-Philadelphia. The group joined with allies like HIAS Pennsylvania and the ACLU in a plan for resistance against a decision they say takes the country back to the days of slavery and other forms of discrimination. "And further using the full force of the law to do that."

CAIR has reported nearly a 20 percent rise in bias-motivated incidents against Muslims last year. 

The groups say there will be more lawsuits, lobbying of Congress and resistance in the streets. 

"We can only change this now through the vote," added Rev. Gregory Holston, executive director of the interfaith group POWER, which includes 40 congregations. "We can only change this now by going out in the streets and organizing."

The groups asked the public to call Congress and ask for change. 

The first major rally will take place Saturday at City Hall at 11 a.m.

"Our mourning must be brief," echoed Thomas Earle, chair of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. "We must organize and take to the streets."