AILA: Revised Muslim and Refugee Ban Halted by Federal Courts

WASHINGTON, DC, March 16, 2017 – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed the issuance of two temporary restraining orders from the U.S. District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland, halting implementation of key parts of President Trump’s revised Executive Order, issued March 6, 2017, which would temporarily ban Muslims and refugees from travel and admission to the United States. Notwithstanding the changes from the January 27 version of the order, the judges determined that it is likely the plaintiffs will prevail on the merits and gave strong indication that the Muslim and refugee bans will be found unconstitutional.

William A. Stock, AILA President, noted, “Once again, our judiciary system has spoken and has ruled that the imposition of a blanket travel ban on nationals of six Muslim-majority countries raises serious constitutional questions. The judge in Hawaii found that there is a ‘dearth of evidence indicating a national security purpose,’ and significant evidence of discriminatory intent that violates the First Amendment. After weeks of preparation, the Trump Administration still cannot justify the need for the policy and has failed to present any evidence for why it must ban refugees or people from these countries. We applaud the courts for upholding the rule of law and ruling in favor of American values.”

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson agreed: “The federal district court in Hawaii blocked the ban based on both its discriminatory impact and ‘the significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus’ underlying the ban. You can’t get much clearer than that. The judge was unmoved by the minor changes made to version 2.0 and found them ‘constitutionally’ insignificant. These decisions demonstrate anew the vital importance the judiciary holds in the American system of government.”

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.  www.aila.org