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'They have not learned.' A pledge to fight the travel ban

Immigrant rights groups held a rally downtown Tuesday to protest the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the so-called Muslim travel ban.

The ACLU and other local groups say they’ll fight the ban, calling it shameful.

Mohamad Kilani, came from Everett for the rally. He immigrated to the U.S. from Iraq in 2001. Kilani sees the ruling as an extension of bigotry and white supremacy. He said he’s surprised that the high court justices don’t agree.

“The malicious intent was clear,” Kilani said. "There’s the law and then there’s the spirit of the law. When someone says all Muslims are rapists or terrorists or what have you the intent is pretty clear."

The rally was held on the steps of the William Kenzo Nakamura Courthouse. Speakers noted that Nakamura was a U.S. soldier whose family was interned during World War II.

Tessa Watanabe, a Muslim and fourth-generation Japanese-American, noted that her grandparents were held in internment camps. Watanabe said she goes to the mosque with fellow Muslims who are now barred from seeing their children or bringing their families here.

"The American government has not learned from the lesson of my grandmother, from the lesson of my grandfather," she said. "They have not learned. They were imprisoned, everything was stripped from them.”

The ban restricts travel from seven nations, five of which have mostly Muslim populations.

Correction 6/28/2018: An earlier version of this story misspelled Tessa Watanabe’s name.