MESA - Middle East Studies Association

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2017

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, NILC, media@nilc.org, 213-375-3149
Inga Sarda-Sorensen, ACLU, 212-284-7347, isarda-sorensen@aclu.org  
Henrike Dessaules, IRAP, 646-459-3081, hdessaules@refugeerights.org
Gabe Cahn, HIAS, 212-613-1312, gabe.cahn@hias.org
Geoffrey Knox, MESA, 917-414-1749, gknox@geoffreyknox.com   

 

Suing Groups Respond to Trump Administration Appeal of Maryland Block on Muslim Ban

LOS ANGELES — The Trump administration today appealed a ruling by a federal court in Maryland that blocked part of President Trump’s executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries to the U.S.

The appeal comes after U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang early Thursday enjoined a central provision of the order that bans travel from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen , finding that it likely violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. That decision came after another federal judge, in Hawaii, temporarily blocked the key provisions of the executive order before it went into effect on Wednesday.

The Maryland case, IRAP v. Trump, will now go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the ACLU of Maryland are representing the International Refugee Assistance Project of the Urban Justice Center, HIAS, and the Middle East Studies Association, along with several individuals, including U.S. citizens, affected by the ban.

Representatives from each group gave the following statements:

Karen Tumlin, Legal Director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC)

“The courts have repeatedly rejected the Trump administration’s discriminatory Muslim and refugee ban, holding that our country’s core value of religious freedom cannot be swept away by presidential edict. We are confident that they will continue to side with the Constitution and with our clients, who have bravely stood up for themselves, the people they serve, and all those impacted by the president’s unlawful and inhumane policy.”

Omar Jadwat, Director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project 

“President Trump’s Muslim ban has fared miserably in the courts, and for good reason — it violates fundamental provisions of our Constitution. We look forward to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court.”

Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS

“The American tradition of welcoming refugees has been preserved thanks to judicial intervention just hours before the latest refugee and Muslim ban was to go into effect. Two federal judges have now thwarted President Trump's second attempt at an unconstitutional travel ban aimed at Muslims. As the world’s oldest refugee resettlement agency, HIAS is prepared to remain true to American and Jewish values by pursuing this legal challenge as long as necessary to protect the American tradition of welcoming the vulnerable and persecuted.”

Becca Heller, Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center

"President Trump's revised executive order, much like the first one, has caused great harm to our clients: refugees who are in danger every day that they are not resettled to safety. They are literally in a life or death situation. We will continue fighting this discriminatory Muslim ban and protect the legal rights of refugees."

Beth Baron, President of the Middle East Studies Association

"We will continue to fight attempts to implement an unlawful Muslim ban and look forward to seeing the judicious decision against it upheld."



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