Press release by National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
Washington, DC - Today (February 15, 2018), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., upheld the Maryland district court’s order blocking implementation of the Muslim Ban in three consolidated cases, Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump, IRAP v Trump, and Zakzok v Trump. This ruling is a significant victory for the many individuals and families whose lives are still hanging in the balance.
Although the Supreme Court order allowing the ban to temporarily go into effect remains in place, this ruling is critically important and represents a positive step on the side of justice. The Fourth Circuit once again found that the Proclamation likely violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Court concluded that “the Proclamation is unconstitutionally tainted with animus towards Islam.” Click here to read the ruling.
IAAB v. Trump was the first major lawsuit brought against President Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0. The plaintiffs in this action are Iranian Alliances Across Borders, an Iranian-American diaspora community organization, and six individual plaintiffs, all of whom are United States citizens or lawful permanent residents with Iranian relatives or spouses who will be blocked from coming to the United States. The plaintiffs in IAAB v. Trump are represented by Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Covington & Burling LLP, and the lawsuit was prepared in consultation with the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).
According to Shayan Modarres, legal counsel for the National Iranian American Council: “Today’s decision by the 4th Circuit again confirms that the United States of America is better than vitriolic bans and barriers. Policies that espouse disdain towards a particular religion or group, and force our neighbors, friends, and family members to live in a state of constant fear, betray what America is all about. But even in this period of darkness and hate, we are more confident now than ever before that we will not be divided, and the American ideals that have made us a beacon of hope for the world will survive these hateful immigration policies.”
According to Johnathan Smith, legal director of Muslim Advocates: “Today’s ruling marks an important victory and confirms what we have long known: Trump’s Muslim ban violates the law and harms our families and communities. The Fourth Circuit has once again recognized that this ban contravenes our fundamental values, and it has reaffirmed our nation’s role as a leading, welcoming country where discrimination and bigotry have no place. Despite today’s success, our work is not finished. We will continue to advocate against this unjust and discriminatory policy until it is but one, dark chapter in our nation’s history.”
According to Mana Kharrazi, executive director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders: “Today is such a proud day for the youth we serve at IAAB. When our youth connect with family members, friends, and community members from across the Iranian diaspora, it changes futures, enriches lives, and roots them in a meaningful sense of community and responsibility. Our young leaders spoke up in court, and they won a victory for their community and the nation. They are helping our country overcome this dark chapter in our history and standing up for the values and ideals we must protect as we look ahead to the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Muslim ban in the coming months.”
According to Richard B. Katskee, legal director of Americans United: “President Trump’s Muslim ban cruelly continues to separate families and to relegate American Muslims to second-class status. Treating people of one faith differently from everyone else is unconstitutional and betrays our deeply held principles of religious freedom, equality, and fairness. We appreciate that the 4th Circuit, just like other federal courts around the country, recognized the harm that this ban is causing. We urge the U.S. Supreme Court to end the Muslim ban and restore to American Muslims the full rights that they deserve.”
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.
Iranian Alliances Across Borders is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 2003. IAAB addresses issues of the Iranian diaspora by facilitating community building, developing ways to better understand what it means to be part of a diaspora community, and empowering members of the Iranian diaspora community to enhance connections with their new communities as well as maintain connections with their root community.
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.
The National Iranian American Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.
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