What We Do
The Travelers Assistance Project (TAP) is a community initiative launched by CAIR-Chicago to assist travelers facing adversity at O'Hare Airport due to the travel bans. TAP processes reports of detention at airports around the country via its 24/7 emergency hotline at 1-872-333-2737, the only project to continuously do so well after the first swell of Muslim Ban assistance subsided. Attorneys are available around the clock to answer travel related questions, provide support & guidance for individuals and their families affected by the Muslim Ban, and intercede to authorities on behalf of travelers. The project also provides a portal for concerned travelers to submit their upcoming travel to O’Hare International Airport.
The TAP legal team monitors those flights and provides assistance and/or guidance in case of prolonged questioning, detainment, or denial of entry into the U.S. TAP continues to provide an information center with the most recent know your rights tips, travel alerts, and other important updates on its website at www.tapus.org.
With three different versions of the Muslim Ban signed into Executive Order – the third of which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June of 2018 – and the February 21, 2020 expansion of the Muslim Ban, TAP will continue to provide information, guidance, and assistance to all those who are concerned about or affected by the Muslim Ban.
On Monday, March 6, 2017, the Council on American-Islamic-Relations Chicago (CAIR-Chicago) officially announced the formal launch of its special Travelers Assistance Project, TAP. CAIR-Chicago’s TAP service, which aims to help at-risk travelers due to the travel bans with legal assistance on the ground and beyond, is strengthened by the partnership of some of the key immigration players in Chicago, including top law firms Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym Ltd, Latham & Watkins LLP, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, bar associations Muslim Bar Association of Chicago, National Association of Muslim Lawyers, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, South Asian Bar Association of Chicago and civil rights organizations American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, National Immigrant Justice Center, and the National Lawyers Guild. We’ve been present from day one at O’Hare fighting the Muslim Ban via direct services, collective advocacy, support, and legal advice to passengers affected.
When the first ban rolled out, volunteer attorneys from civil rights organizations and law firms descended throughout Chicago on O’Hare by the hundreds. Since then, efforts have been made to strengthen this wonderfully organic effort into an organized, systemized, and streamlined process in order to maximize return on incredibly generous yet limited pro-bono resources. The result was the CAIR-Chicago TAP service, which helped bring together over 1,400 volunteer attorneys, interpreters, activists, advocates, and supporters to support affected travelers. The TAP lawyers were even given the title of Chicagoans of the Year by Chicago Magazine. We’ve worked with countless legislators, community partners, and lawyers in not only providing support to those affected but in working to fight the Muslim Ban, both in the court rooms and legislative bodies.
Keep TAP Alive
But, with the onset of COVID-19, TAP found itself in a precarious situation. Donations are running short, but discrimination is on the rise. Politicians are using COVID-19 as an excuse to prevent the passage of the NO BAN Act, families are stranded because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, and hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise. We are the only 24/7 support, nationwide, for travelers & families who face lengthy questioning, detention, or denial of entry upon entering the US. and we cannot risk being shut down. Will you donate to Travelers Assistance Project and help us assist travelers who face wrongful detention?