IABA Updates Regarding Ban On Nationals of 7 Majority Muslim Countries

BREAKING NEWS:

The Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA) and several other prominent Iranian-American organizations filed a joint action in federal court to stop the Trump Administration’s Executive Order banning nationals from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S.

PRESIDENT TRUMP CANNOT SILENCE IRANIANS!

Click here for more information: http://endthetravelban.com/

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IABA Statement

IABA STATEMENT ON EXECUTIVE ORDER RE BAN ON NATIONALS OF 7 MUSLIM MAJORITY COUNTRIES

Dear friends and members,

We wanted to update you on the rapidly developing situation involving president Trump’s most recent executive order.

As many of you know, last Friday evening, Mr. Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) banning nationals of seven Muslim majority countries from entering into the U.S. The ban was broadly applied to U.S. permanent residents, dual nationals, immigrant and non-immigrant visa holders, and refugees – and set certain immigration priorities for non-Muslims within those countries. A more detailed summary of the EO can be found here.

Almost instantly, the effects of the ban were felt across the country and the world. Examples of those who were prohibited from returning to the U.S., or detained upon their return, included individuals such as professionals working lawfully in the U.S. for years and returning from work trips abroad, and permanent residents (green card holders) with citizen infants who were returning from vacations. It even appears that some people were being coerced into voluntarily withdrawing their visa and residency applications to be released from detention.

The public response and outcry was swift. Calls and emails were placed with government officials, and protesters poured into airports across the U.S. to support those detained and condemn the EO. Along with the protesters, numerous attorneys – including numerous IABA members from the East Coast to the West Coast – went to airports to help represent and release those detained.

During the same time, multiple lawsuits were filed to help secure the release of those detained, which in some states were disproportionately of Iranian descent. District court responses were universally positive. Federal judges in New York, Virginia, and Seattle blocked portions of the EO (primarily applying to permanent residents en route or in the U.S. when the EO took effect); and another federal court in Boston granted a broader stay for all permanent residents, lawful visa holders, and permitted refugees for a seven day period. A list of currently lawsuits pending can be found here.

The good news is that our efforts are paying off. The administration has now said the EO will not prohibit permanent residents from returning to the country (though it may apply additional scrutiny on such people upon their return). Many politicians, including some Republicans, have come out against the EO. And some law enforcement and security personnel have gone on the record criticizing the EO and saying that it does not make us safer.

Our members’ response to this national emergency has been truly impressive. From New York and DC, to Los Angeles and San Francisco, many IABA members gave their time and came to help those unlawfully detained. In some airports, there were as many lawyers as there were protestors. Our members, and coalition allies, helped identify those who were en route or being detained, pushed to see and represent those individuals, and helped secure their release. We worked with airport authorities, answered questions of concerned friends and family members, and attempted to bring some order to the chaos. Due a lawsuit in Los Angeles, in which the IABA joined the efforts spearheaded by the ACLU and other coalition organizations, multiple detainees (including those of Iranian descent) were released from LAX shortly after we filed (click here to see the lawsuit). And some of our members have also been in the press, to try and educate the public about the EO, and its effects. For one example, click here. These efforts (along with the good work of other organizations) have helped reunite families and return people to their lives. It has been truly awe inspiring.

However, despite these limited successes, the majority of the EO remains in place. Holders of lawful work, student, and other visas, who were vetted and granted such visas, are still prohibited from coming to the U.S.; as are vulnerable refugees whose lives are in danger. As members of the bar, and of the Iranian American community, we are uniquely suited to respond to this challenge. Together, with our coalition allies (such as the ACLU, AILA, and others) we are literally an army of lawyers, and our efforts make concrete differences in people’s lives.

Please join our efforts. We urge you to take as many of these steps as you can:

  • Join or renew your membership with IABA, so we can have an updated list of the resources available to us (click here to join, and here to renew).
  • Donate to IABA so it can continue its efforts (click here).
  • Donate your time, whether through legal services, research, translating, physical presence, or simply helping coordinate the efforts of attorneys through your network.
  • Offer your expertise in the law, including immigration and constitutional law.
  • Continue to call and write your local and federal representatives.
  • Continue to share this information with your friends, families, and professional networks

In the interim, we will continue to: (1) monitor the situation, (2) provide you with information regarding the EO and its impact, (3) track and identify those being detained or refused entry/reentry into the U.S., (4) join or file lawsuits, or take other actions, as appropriate to help those who are detained or refused entry, (5) work with a coalition of other bar associations and Iranian-American organizations; and (6) explore all possible legal challenges to the EO.

IABA National Board

Text of the Exec. Order

Link to executive order on whitehouse.gov: here

EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.

Sec. 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.

(c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

(d) Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.

(e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.

(f) At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

(g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

(h) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 days of the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 4. Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs. (a) The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

(c) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.

(d) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

(f) The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.

(g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

Sec. 6. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility. The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

Sec. 7. Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order. Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security. (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.

(b) To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

Sec. 9. Visa Validity Reciprocity. The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.

Sec. 10. Transparency and Data Collection. (a) To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:

(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;

(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

(b) The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.

Sec. 11. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

IABA in the News

CNN International 1.27.17 — Link

ABC Australia 1.30.17 — Legal Issues Surround Travel Ban

PRI TheWorld 1.30.17 — Federal judges have temporarily blocked parts of Trump’s immigration restrictions, but agents are still detaining people

Twitter 1.31.17 — Link


Los Angeles IABA Director Mona Afrashteh appeared on Radio Hamrah
to discuss the recent Executive Order and its implications.

Litigation Updates

PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SUMMARIES OF CASES RELATED TO PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER TITLED “PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES.”

Part Equality Center v. Trump, 1:17-cv-00255 (D.D.C.)

·         On February 9, 2017, several prominent Iranian-American organizations, Including IABA, have filed a joint action in federal court to stop the Trump Administration’s Executive Order banning nationals from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. in the District Court for the District of Columbia.

·         The plaintiffs request that Sections 3(c), 5(a)-(c) and 5(e) of the Executive Order be declared contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and enjoin the Defendants from enforcing and applying such sections of the Executive Order.

Read the full complaint here. Read the joint statement of Iranian Organizations here.


Mohammed v. Trump, 2:17-cv-00786-AB-PLA (C.D. Cal.)

·         Class action filed by Yemeni-born US citizens and legal immigrants, some of whom had been issued immigrant visas but prevented from entering the US pursuant to the Executive Order

·         On January 31, the Court issued a TRO (i) enjoining Defendants from enforcing the Executive Order by removing, detaining, or blocking entry of any person from the seven banned countries who holds a valid immigrant visa; (ii) ordering Defendants to return any confiscated visas and immediately inform all relevant airport officials that individuals with previously confiscated visas are permitted to travel to the US; and (iii) barring Defendants from canceling any validly obtained immigrant visas

·         TRO has nationwide effect


Farmad v. Trump, 2:17-cv-00706 (C.D. Cal.)

·         Filed on behalf of two lawful permanent residents who were detained at LAX

·         Plaintiffs were eventually released, mooting their petition for habeas corpus, but plaintiffs filed an amended petition and civil complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the Executive Order

·         No Court orders yet issued


Sarsour v. Trump, 1:17-cv-00120 (E.D. Va.)

·         Class action filed by Muslim Americans residing in the US

·         Complaint argues that one of the purposes of the Executive Order is to “initiate the mass expulsion of immigrant and nonimmigrant Muslims lawfully residing in the United States by denying them their ability to renew their lawful status or receive immigration benefits afforded to them under the Immigration and Nationality Act”

·         Plaintiffs claim that the Executive Order violates the Establishment Clause, Equal Protection Clause, and the Administrative Procedure Act

·         No Court orders yet issued


Ali v. Trump, 2:17-cv-00135 (W.D. Wash.)

·         Class action filed by US citizens whose minor children are citizens of one of the banned countries and are currently awaiting decisions on immigrant visa applications so that they can be reunited with their parents in the US

·         Proposed class would include all nationals of countries banned by the Executive Order who have applied or will apply for immigrant visas or whose immigrant visas have been or will be revoked

·         Plaintiffs claim that the Executive Order violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Equal Protection Clause, and due process

·         No Court orders yet issued


State of Washington v. Trump, 2:17-cv-00141 (W.D. Wash.)

·         Filed by the Washington State Attorney General on the basis of the State’s interest in protecting the health, safety, and well-being of its residents

·         Several declarations filed from officials at Washington State University, Amazon.com, Expedia, and University of Washington setting forth harm to those entities and to their students and employees that will result from the Executive Order

·         State requests nationwide TRO enjoining Defendants from barring entry into the US of immigrants and non-immigrants pursuant to the Executive Order

·         No Court orders yet issued

Arab American Civil Rights League v. Trump, 2:17-cv-10310 (E.D. Mich.)

·         Plaintiffs are Muslim lawful permanent residents from countries banned by Executive Order who have either been unable to return to the US from abroad or fear that they will be unable to return to the US if they travel abroad

·         Plaintiffs claim that the Executive Order violates the Equal Protection Clause and Establishment Clause by giving preference to Christian refugees over Muslim noncitizens

·         Plaintiffs request a stay of the Executive Order enjoining Defendants from detaining or removing individuals pursuant to the Executive Order


Asali v. DHS

·         Plaintiffs are Syrian citizens who were granted lawful permanent resident visas, but denied entry to the US pursuant to the Executive Order

·         Plaintiffs claim that Executive Order violates Equal Protection Clause, the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act

·         Plaintiffs request a TRO enjoining Defendants from barring Plaintiffs’ return to the US and requiring Defendants to reinstate Plaintiffs’ visas and admit them to the US under the terms of those visas

·         No Court orders yet issued

What We Are Doing


IABA is helping track Entry/Denial of Entry to the U.S. Please access the intake form here

  • IABA has partnered with other organization to provide legal and translating services to incoming travelers. Please sign up for pro bono service in California through the Immigration Pro Bono Response Network here.
  • IABA is hosting events nationwide to educate and mobilize the community. Please join our upcoming event in partnership with other minority bar associations by visiting our page here.
  • IABA is working with a number of partner organization, including the ACLU (please see Here), to legally challenge the executive order in a number of jurisdictions. IABA Law Suit
  • IABA has partnered with other organizations to organize the community to contact members of congress regarding the impact of the Executive Order on the Iranian-American community. Please take action by reaching out to your member of congress here and here

Completing this form does not guarantee legal representation. It does not create an attorney/client relationship. It is not subject to the attorney/client privilege. The Iranian American bar association does not accept any responsibility for any assistance provided, legal or otherwise, as a result of completing this form. Individuals should speak with an attorney to make decisions based on individual circumstances.

Information provided may be shared with other organizations for the purpose of: (1) trying to help you find representation; and (2) tracking and using this information to help advance the legal rights of the community and others in similar circumstances.

Need or Able to Help?
Contact Us

IABA CHAPTERS:

Dallas – dallas@iaba.us
Los Angeles – Natalie Rastagari, President, IABA – Los Angeles – losangeles@iaba.us
New York – nyc@iaba.us
Northern California – northerncalifornia@iaba.us
Orange County – Nesa Targhibi, President, IABA – Orange County – ocimmigration2017@gmail.com –
cell 714-797-7377 – oc@iaba.us
Phoenix – Afsanieh Rassti – National Representative – Phoenix – Afsanieh.rassti@asu.edu
San Diego – Arezoo Jamshidi – Arezoo.Jamshidi@lewisbrisbois.com – sandiego@iaba.us
Washington, D.C. – Leila Mansouri, President, IABA – Washington DC – Leila@iaba.us – dc@iaba.us

IABA’s Law Suit
Against the Travel Ban

Iranian American Joint Satement

Contact: Christy Setzer, christy@newheightscommunications.com or
Aurora Matthews, aurora@newheightscommunications.com, 301-221-7984
February 9, 2017

IRANIAN-AMERICAN ORGS FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT
AGAINST TRUMP TRAVEL BAN EXECUTIVE ORDER

Joint Statement of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar
Association, the National Iranian American Council, and
the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans

Washington, DC—Several prominent Iranian-American organizations have filed a joint action in federal court to stop the Trump Administration’s Executive Order banning nationals from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. The lawsuit was filed by Iranian American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, DC-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (“APKS”), on behalf of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans.

The Iranian-American community has been significantly and adversely impacted by the travel ban. Iran had the largest total number of legal entrants into the U.S. (310,182) between 2006 and 2015; two-thirds of those entrants arrived in the United States on temporary visas. Of the 90,000 visas issued each year to the seven countries singled out by the EO, almost half (42,542) are from Iran.

The Iranian-American organizations released the following joint statement:

“In a united effort, and in honor of our parents, children and the entire Iranian-American community, we have filed a joint action in federal court to stop the White House’s Executive Order, a wholly irrational directive that profoundly discriminates against our community.

“The Executive Order illogically categorizes everyone of Iranian descent as a potential terrorist. According to the Cato Institute, there was not a single case of an American being killed in a terrorist attack in this country by a person born in Iran — or any of the other six countries specified in the Executive Order. Iranians were not among the perpetrators of 9/11 or the Oklahoma City bombings or the nightclub killings in Orlando, Florida, or any of the other horrific acts of terror that have taken place in the United States. To the contrary, Iranian Americans were counted among the victims in San Bernardino, as well as among the first responders on the scene.

“Today, with this joint action, we show our strong opposition to the blanket ban on Iranian nationals to the U.S., which will not make us safer, and would not have prevented acts of terrorism.

“Under our nation’s laws there can be no discrimination based on national origin. The United States Constitution requires even the President to provide Due Process and Equal Protection under the law, and to follow the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. We filed the suit today in federal court to uphold the best of American principles that motivated our families to make enormous sacrifices to join a nation that stands for freedom and equal opportunity free from discrimination.

“We deeply thank the attorneys at Mehri & Skalet, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and APKS for tirelessly working around the clock to develop and file this action.”

To learn more about the lawsuit or to sign up to receive email updates about the case, visit www.EndtheTravelBan.com.

For more information about the organizations, visit Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans.

Executive Order Press Call Advisory

MEDIA ADVISORY
Contact: Aurora Matthews, 301-221-7984 or
Christy Setzer, christy@newheightscommunications.com

IRANIAN-AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS WHO FILED FEDERAL
LAWSUIT OVER TRUMP TRAVEL BAN HOLD PRESS CALL

Lawyers, Representatives Hold Press Call on Thursday, Feb 9 at 11 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives from prominent Iranian-American organizations and their counsel will hold a press call on Thursday, February 9 at 11 a.m. ET to discuss their joint action filed in federal court to stop the Trump Administration’s Executive Order banning nationals from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S.

The lawsuit was filed by Iranian-American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, DC-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer on behalf of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans.

Speakers on the press call will include:

  • Moderator: Cyrus Mehri, Partner, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC
  • Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Nazy Fahimi, Senior Legal Director, Pars Equality Center (Pars)
  • Leila Mansouri, President, Iranian American Bar Association- DC (IABA)
  • Shayan Modarres, Counsel, National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
  • Leila Golestaneh Austin, Executive Director of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)
  • John Freedman, Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Approximately one million people of Iranian descent live in the United States. The joint action calls President Trump’s Executive Order unlawful and says it discriminates against the Iranian-American community by unfairly and improperly categorizing them as terrorists. According to the Cato Institute, there was not a single case of an American being killed in a terrorist attack in this country by a person born in Iran — or any of the other six countries specified in the Executive Order.

To join the call, please RSVP to aurora@newheightscommunications.com.


Read the Complaint

FAQs

What does the travel ban mean for you: Here

Muslim Discrimination: for information from the ACLU please visit here

Immigrants Rights: for information from the ACLU please visit here

A detailed analysis of the Executive Order: Here

Executive Order Fact Sheet: Here

Executive Order Guidance (updated January 27, 2017): Here

State Department Announcement regarding Executive Order on Visas: Here

FAQs from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection: here

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