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 members and friends,

As most of you know, on March 6, 2017, President Trump issued his “Travel Ban” Version 2.0. This ban was set to go into effect yesterday, March 16, and required a 90 day halt on all travel from nationals from six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Libya (but no longer Iraq) – subject to certain exceptions. Under this new Executive Order (EO), the refugee program will also be halted for 120 days in its entirety (subject to some exceptions), and upon resumption the number or refugee admissions to be cut drastically (to 50,000 down from 110,000).

In an effort to fix the many flaws of the original version, the Travel Ban 2.0 created exceptions (for whom the 90 day ban will not apply), including: (1) green card holders (lawful permanent residents); (2) individuals whose visas, refugee, or asylum status was granted before January 27 (the original EO), or as of March 6 (Version 2.0); and (3) dual nationals who are using a passport from a non-designated country. The Travel Ban 2.0 also permits case-by-case “waivers” for educational, health, and family purposes, if applicants can show “undue hardship” and that the waiver is “in the national interest.” Even more limited “waivers” were made available for the refugee program, though none expressly for “minority faith” members. No guidance is provided as to whether and under what circumstances any of these waivers would be granted.

President Trump, himself, described the Travel Ban 2.0 as a “watered down” version of the original, bolstering the position that this new EO provides only cosmetic changes to the illegality that permeated its predecessor. So it is not surprising that it was immediately challenged on the same grounds as the original EO, including that it violated the Due Process, Equal Protection, and Establishment Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

In response to such challenges, between March 15 and 16, District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland have already heard and granted temporary restraining orders against the new Travel Ban. The Hawaii District Court has issued a nation-wide stay of both the “national origin” and “refugee” provisions, while the Maryland District Court issued a nation-wide stay of the “national origin” provision. This means that the Travel Ban 2.0 did not go into effect yesterday as stated, pending resolution of the existing legal challenges.

While this is welcome news, our fight is far from over. Setting aside any appeals processes, these cases still have to be won on their merits. For its part, IABA – along with three other prominent Iranian American organizations – has renewed its legal challenge to the Travel Ban 2.0. Yesterday, we amended our original complaint to challenge the new Travel Ban, filed in the District Court in Washington D.C., and moved for a preliminary injunction – a motion supported by 25 declarations. Of all the lawsuits currently pending, our legal challenge provides the most comprehensive set of facts as to the effects of the Travel Ban on the Iranian American community. Our preliminary injunction motion is currently set to be heard on April 13. You can follow the progress of our lawsuit, including the most recent filings, here.

By its terms, this new EO can become a permanent ban against Iranian nationals. Its stated purpose is to provide a “90-day pause” to assess security surrounding travel from these six countries; but it also states that, if any foreign government on the list is unable or unwilling to comply with any required standards, this 90-day ban could be extended for an indefinite period of time. Given the lack of any diplomatic relations between Iran and the U.S., it is unlikely that the required cooperation would develop anytime soon between the two countries – and thus it is very possible that this ban would become permanent. We at the IABA intend to stand strong against this new EO, as with any other unlawful action that seeks to deprive our community of its rights. And to that end, we encourage and urge you for your help. Here is how you can help:

  • Join or renew your membership with IABA (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.

Babak Yousefzadeh
IABA National President
National Board of Directors

Text of the Exec. Order


March 6, 2017

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 the 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 Nation from terrorist activities by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy and Purpose. (a) It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals. The screening and vetting protocols and procedures associated with the visa-issuance process and the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) play a crucial role in detecting foreign nationals who may commit, aid, or support acts of terrorism and in preventing those individuals from entering the United States. It is therefore the policy of the United States to improve the screening and vetting protocols and procedures associated with the visa-issuance process and the USRAP.

(b) On January 27, 2017, to implement this policy, I issued Executive Order 13769 (Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States).

(i) Among other actions, Executive Order 13769 suspended for 90 days the entry of certain aliens from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. These are countries that had already been identified as presenting heightened concerns about terrorism and travel to the United States. Specifically, the suspension applied to countries referred to in, or designated under, section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), in which Congress restricted use of the Visa Waiver Program for nationals of, and aliens recently present in, (A) Iraq or Syria, (B) any country designated by the Secretary of State as a state sponsor of terrorism (currently Iran, Syria, and Sudan), and (C) any other country designated as a country of concern by the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence. In 2016, the Secretary of Homeland Security designated Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as additional countries of concern for travel purposes, based on consideration of three statutory factors related to terrorism and national security: “(I) whether the presence of an alien in the country or area increases the likelihood that the alien is a credible threat to the national security of the United States; (II) whether a foreign terrorist organization has a significant presence in the country or area; and (III) whether the country or area is a safe haven for terrorists.” 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)(D)(ii). Additionally, Members of Congress have expressed concerns about screening and vetting procedures following recent terrorist attacks in this country and in Europe.

(ii) In ordering the temporary suspension of entry described in subsection (b)(i) of this section, I exercised my authority under Article II of the Constitution and under section 212(f) of the INA, which provides in relevant part: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” 8 U.S.C. 1182(f). Under these authorities, I determined that, for a brief period of 90 days, while existing screening and vetting procedures were under review, the entry into the United States of certain aliens from the seven identified countries — each afflicted by terrorism in a manner that compromised the ability of the United States to rely on normal decision-making procedures about travel to the United States — would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. Nonetheless, I permitted the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant case-by-case waivers when they determined that it was in the national interest to do so.

(iii) Executive Order 13769 also suspended the USRAP for 120 days. Terrorist groups have sought to infiltrate several nations through refugee programs. Accordingly, I temporarily suspended the USRAP pending a review of our procedures for screening and vetting refugees. Nonetheless, I permitted the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to jointly grant case-by-case waivers when they determined that it was in the national interest to do so.

(iv) Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities — whoever they are and wherever they reside — to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.

(c) The implementation of Executive Order 13769 has been delayed by litigation. Most significantly, enforcement of critical provisions of that order has been temporarily halted by court orders that apply nationwide and extend even to foreign nationals with no prior or substantial connection to the United States. On February 9, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to stay or narrow one such order pending the outcome of further judicial proceedings, while noting that the “political branches are far better equipped to make appropriate distinctions” about who should be covered by a suspension of entry or of refugee admissions.

(d) Nationals from the countries previously identified under section 217(a)(12) of the INA warrant additional scrutiny in connection with our immigration policies because the conditions in these countries present heightened threats. Each of these countries is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones. Any of these circumstances diminishes the foreign government’s willingness or ability to share or validate important information about individuals seeking to travel to the United States. Moreover, the significant presence in each of these countries of terrorist organizations, their members, and others exposed to those organizations increases the chance that conditions will be exploited to enable terrorist operatives or sympathizers to travel to the United States. Finally, once foreign nationals from these countries are admitted to the United States, it is often difficult to remove them, because many of these countries typically delay issuing, or refuse to issue, travel documents.

(e) The following are brief descriptions, taken in part from the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 (June 2016), of some of the conditions in six of the previously designated countries that demonstrate why their nationals continue to present heightened risks to the security of the United States:

(i) Iran. Iran has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984 and continues to support various terrorist groups, including Hizballah, Hamas, and terrorist groups in Iraq. Iran has also been linked to support for al-Qa’ida and has permitted al-Qa’ida to transport funds and fighters through Iran to Syria and South Asia. Iran does not cooperate with the United States in counterterrorism efforts.

(ii) Libya. Libya is an active combat zone, with hostilities between the internationally recognized government and its rivals. In many parts of the country, security and law enforcement functions are provided by armed militias rather than state institutions. Violent extremist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have exploited these conditions to expand their presence in the country. The Libyan government provides some cooperation with the United States’ counterterrorism efforts, but it is unable to secure thousands of miles of its land and maritime borders, enabling the illicit flow of weapons, migrants, and foreign terrorist fighters. The United States Embassy in Libya suspended its operations in 2014.

(iii) Somalia. Portions of Somalia have been terrorist safe havens. Al-Shabaab, an al-Qa’ida-affiliated terrorist group, has operated in the country for years and continues to plan and mount operations within Somalia and in neighboring countries. Somalia has porous borders, and most countries do not recognize Somali identity documents. The Somali government cooperates with the United States in some counterterrorism operations but does not have the capacity to sustain military pressure on or to investigate suspected terrorists.

(iv) Sudan. Sudan has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993 because of its support for international terrorist groups, including Hizballah and Hamas. Historically, Sudan provided safe havens for al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups to meet and train. Although Sudan’s support to al-Qa’ida has ceased and it provides some cooperation with the United States’ counterterrorism efforts, elements of core al-Qa’ida and ISIS-linked terrorist groups remain active in the country.

(v) Syria. Syria has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1979. The Syrian government is engaged in an ongoing military conflict against ISIS and others for control of portions of the country. At the same time, Syria continues to support other terrorist groups. It has allowed or encouraged extremists to pass through its territory to enter Iraq. ISIS continues to attract foreign fighters to Syria and to use its base in Syria to plot or encourage attacks around the globe, including in the United States. The United States Embassy in Syria suspended its operations in 2012. Syria does not cooperate with the United States’ counterterrorism efforts.

(vi) Yemen. Yemen is the site of an ongoing conflict between the incumbent government and the Houthi-led opposition. Both ISIS and a second group, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have exploited this conflict to expand their presence in Yemen and to carry out hundreds of attacks. Weapons and other materials smuggled across Yemen’s porous borders are used to finance AQAP and other terrorist activities. In 2015, the United States Embassy in Yemen suspended its operations, and embassy staff were relocated out of the country. Yemen has been supportive of, but has not been able to cooperate fully with, the United States in counterterrorism efforts.

(f) In light of the conditions in these six countries, until the assessment of current screening and vetting procedures required by section 2 of this order is completed, the risk of erroneously permitting entry of a national of one of these countries who intends to commit terrorist acts or otherwise harm the national security of the United States is unacceptably high. Accordingly, while that assessment is ongoing, I am imposing a temporary pause on the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, subject to categorical exceptions and case-by-case waivers, as described in section 3 of this order.

(g) Iraq presents a special case. Portions of Iraq remain active combat zones. Since 2014, ISIS has had dominant influence over significant territory in northern and central Iraq. Although that influence has been significantly reduced due to the efforts and sacrifices of the Iraqi government and armed forces, working along with a United States-led coalition, the ongoing conflict has impacted the Iraqi government’s capacity to secure its borders and to identify fraudulent travel documents. Nevertheless, the close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq’s commitment to combat ISIS justify different treatment for Iraq. In particular, those Iraqi government forces that have fought to regain more than half of the territory previously dominated by ISIS have shown steadfast determination and earned enduring respect as they battle an armed group that is the common enemy of Iraq and the United States. In addition, since Executive Order 13769 was issued, the Iraqi government has expressly undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to final orders of removal. Decisions about issuance of visas or granting admission to Iraqi nationals should be subjected to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants have connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations, or otherwise pose a risk to either national security or public safety.

(h) Recent history shows that some of those who have entered the United States through our immigration system have proved to be threats to our national security. Since 2001, hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States. They have included not just persons who came here legally on visas but also individuals who first entered the country as refugees. For example, in January 2013, two Iraqi nationals admitted to the United States as refugees in 2009 were sentenced to 40 years and to life in prison, respectively, for multiple terrorism-related offenses. And in October 2014, a native of Somalia who had been brought to the United States as a child refugee and later became a naturalized United States citizen was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction as part of a plot to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. The Attorney General has reported to me that more than 300 persons who entered the United States as refugees are currently the subjects of counterterrorism investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(i) Given the foregoing, the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who may commit, aid, or support acts of terrorism remains a matter of grave concern. In light of the Ninth Circuit’s observation that the political branches are better suited to determine the appropriate scope of any suspensions than are the courts, and in order to avoid spending additional time pursuing litigation, I am revoking Executive Order 13769 and replacing it with this order, which expressly excludes from the suspensions categories of aliens that have prompted judicial concerns and which clarifies or refines the approach to certain other issues or categories of affected aliens.

Sec. 2. Temporary Suspension of Entry for Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern During Review Period. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall conduct a worldwide review to identify whether, and if so what, additional information will be needed from each foreign country to adjudicate an application by a national of that country for a visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual is not a security or public-safety threat. The Secretary of Homeland Security may conclude that certain information is needed from particular countries even if it is not needed from every country.

(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 worldwide review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed from each country for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 20 days of the effective date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, 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 and vetting of foreign nationals, to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists, and in light of the national security concerns referenced in section 1 of this order, I hereby proclaim, pursuant to sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), that the unrestricted entry into the United States of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. I therefore direct that the entry into the United States of nationals of those six countries be suspended for 90 days from the effective date of this order, subject to the limitations, waivers, and exceptions set forth in sections 3 and 12 of this order.

(d) Upon submission of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed from each country for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request that all foreign governments that do not supply such information regarding their nationals begin providing it within 50 days of notification.

(e) After the period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion in a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of appropriate categories of foreign nationals of countries that have not provided the information requested until they do so or until the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies that the country has an adequate plan to do so, or has adequately shared information through other means. The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security may also submit to the President the names of additional countries for which any of them recommends other lawful restrictions or limitations deemed necessary for the security or welfare of the United States.

(f) At any point after the submission of the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment, as well as the names of any countries that they recommend should be removed from the scope of a proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section.

(g) The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 60 days of the effective date of this order, a second report within 90 days of the effective date of this order, a third report within 120 days of the effective date of this order, and a fourth report within 150 days of the effective date of this order.

Sec. 3. Scope and Implementation of Suspension.

(a) Scope. Subject to the exceptions set forth in subsection (b) of this section and any waiver under subsection (c) of this section, the suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order shall apply only to foreign nationals of the designated countries who:

(i) are outside the United States on the effective date of this order;

(ii) did not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m., eastern standard time on January 27, 2017; and

(iii) do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order.

(b) Exceptions. The suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order shall not apply to:

(i) any lawful permanent resident of the United States;

(ii) any foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the effective date of this order;

(iii) any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the effective date of this order or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;

(iv) any dual national of a country designated under section 2 of this order when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;

(v) any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or

(vi) any foreign national who has been granted asylum; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States; or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

(c) Waivers. Notwithstanding the suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order, a consular officer, or, as appropriate, the Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or the Commissioner’s delegee, may, in the consular officer’s or the CBP official’s discretion, decide on a case-by-case basis to authorize the issuance of a visa to, or to permit the entry of, a foreign national for whom entry is otherwise suspended if the foreign national has demonstrated to the officer’s satisfaction that denying entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest. Unless otherwise specified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, any waiver issued by a consular officer as part of the visa issuance process will be effective both for the issuance of a visa and any subsequent entry on that visa, but will leave all other requirements for admission or entry unchanged. Case-by-case waivers could be appropriate in circumstances such as the following:

(i) the foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the effective date of this order, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry during the suspension period would impair that activity;

(ii) the foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity;

(iii) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations;

(iv) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship;

(v) the foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;

(vi) the foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee) and the employee can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government;

(vii) the foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq., traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA;

(viii) the foreign national is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; or

(ix) the foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.

Sec. 4. Additional Inquiries Related to Nationals of Iraq. An application by any Iraqi national for a visa, admission, or other immigration benefit should be subjected to thorough review, including, as appropriate, consultation with a designee of the Secretary of Defense and use of the additional information that has been obtained in the context of the close U.S.-Iraqi security partnership, since Executive Order 13769 was issued, concerning individuals suspected of ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations and individuals coming from territories controlled or formerly controlled by ISIS. Such review shall include consideration of whether the applicant has connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations or with territory that is or has been under the dominant influence of ISIS, as well as any other information bearing on whether the applicant may be a threat to commit acts of terrorism or otherwise threaten the national security or public safety of the United States.

Sec. 5. Implementing Uniform Screening and Vetting Standards for All Immigration Programs. (a) The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence shall implement a program, as part of the process for adjudications, to identify individuals who seek to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis, who support terrorism, violent extremism, acts of violence toward any group or class of people within the United States, or who present a risk of causing harm subsequent to their entry. This program shall include the development of a uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures, 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 applicants are who they claim to be; a mechanism to assess whether applicants may commit, aid, or support any kind of violent, criminal, or terrorist acts after entering the United States; and any other appropriate means for ensuring the proper collection of all information necessary for a rigorous evaluation of all grounds of inadmissibility or grounds for the denial of other immigration benefits.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the program described in subsection (a) of this section within 60 days of the effective date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the effective date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the effective date of this order.

Sec. 6. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend travel of refugees into the United States under the USRAP, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall suspend decisions on applications for refugee status, for 120 days after the effective date of this order, subject to waivers pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. 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 processes to determine what additional procedures should be used to ensure that individuals seeking admission as refugees do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. The suspension described in this subsection shall not apply to refugee applicants who, before the effective date of this order, have been formally scheduled for transit by the Department of State. The Secretary of State shall resume travel of refugees into the United States under the USRAP 120 days after the effective date of this order, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall resume making decisions on applications for refugee status only for stateless persons and nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that the additional procedures implemented pursuant to this subsection are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 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 entries in excess of that number until such time as I determine that additional entries would be in the national interest.

(c) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of 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 entry of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest and does not pose a threat to the security or welfare of the United States, including in circumstances such as the following: the individual’s entry would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement or arrangement, or the denial of entry would cause undue hardship.

(d) 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 State 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. 7. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility. The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority permitted by section 212(d)(3)(B) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(3)(B), relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing directives or guidance.

Sec. 8. 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 in-scope 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 set forth in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the effective date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the effective date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the effective date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit further reports every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

Sec. 9. 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. 1202, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions. This suspension shall not apply to any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the IOIA; or traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government.

(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 nonimmigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

Sec. 10. Visa Validity Reciprocity. The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements and arrangements 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 another country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a truly 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 that foreign country, to the extent practicable.

Sec. 11. Transparency and Data Collection. (a) To be more transparent with the American people and to implement more effectively 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 the following information:

(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 with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;

(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have 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;

(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals; and

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

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall release the initial report under subsection (a) of this section within 180 days of the effective date of this order and shall include information for the period from September 11, 2001, until the date of the initial report. Subsequent reports shall be issued every 180 days thereafter and reflect the period since the previous report.

Sec. 12. Enforcement. (a) The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consult with appropriate domestic and international partners, including countries and organizations, to ensure efficient, effective, and appropriate implementation of the actions directed in this order.

(b) In implementing this order, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including, as appropriate, those providing an opportunity for individuals to claim a fear of persecution or torture, such as the credible fear determination for aliens covered by section 235(b)(1)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)(A).

(c) No immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before the effective date of this order shall be revoked pursuant to this order.

(d) Any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry. Any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa that was solely pursuant to Executive Order 13769 shall not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination about entry or admissibility.

(e) This order shall not apply to an individual who has been granted asylum, to a refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, or to an individual granted withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture. Nothing in this order shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture, consistent with the laws of the United States.

Sec. 13. Revocation. Executive Order 13769 of January 27, 2017, is revoked as of the effective date of this order.

Sec. 14. Effective Date. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m., eastern daylight time on March 16, 2017.

Sec. 15. Severability. (a) If any provision of this order, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and the application of its other provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(b) If any provision of this order, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid because of the lack of certain procedural requirements, the relevant executive branch officials shall implement those procedural requirements.

Sec. 16. 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

THE WHITE HOUSE,

March 6, 2017.


January 27, 2017

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

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

Joint Statement of Iranian-American organizations on court order on motion
for Preliminary Injunction

Contact: Christy Setzer, christy@newheightscommunications.com or
Aurora Matthews, aurora@newheightscommunications.com, 301-221-7984
May 11, 2017

JUDGE STAYS CONSIDERATION OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, ORDERS CASE TO MOVE FORWARD IN IRANIAN-AMERICAN ORGS CASE AGAINST TRUMP TRAVEL BAN

U.S. Federal Court Hears Iranian-Americans’ Stories, is Troubled by Government’s Actions

Washington, DC—Today, federal judge Judge Tanya S. Chutkan issued an order expressing her belief that the preliminary injunction motion filed by four prominent Iranian-American organizations – Pars Equality Center, Iranian American Bar Association, National Iranian American Council, and Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans – and more than 15 individual plaintiffs, is “likely to succeed on the merits” – meaning the Trump administration’s travel ban Executive Order is likely unlawful. But the Court stayed consideration of, or ruling on, the parties’ preliminary injunction motion pending resolution of the two national injunctions on the Executive Order currently in place, and appeals of the same. Judge Chutkan assured that, “in the event that both existing injunctions are overturned, this court is prepared to issue a ruling without delay.” She further ordered the parties to continue ahead “to avoid undue delay in this litigation.”

“We are pleased that Judge Chutkan wrote that she believes that the travel ban is likely unlawful,” said Cyrus Mehri. “Judge Chutkan is seriously troubled by the government’s actions and is ready to step in if any existing injunction is rolled back.  Judge Chutkan did not agree with the government’s arguments that there was no merit to our claims and that she has ordered the litigation to move forward. However, we would have preferred for the Court to rule on other key issues in the case, such as the ongoing irreparable harm that the organizations and individual plaintiffs continue to suffer. We will continue to vigorously prosecute this case.”

Hearings for the lawsuit were held on April 18 and April 21 in Washington, D.C. The first hearing featured live testimony from two of the organizations, which was the only time in any of the travel ban cases where the court heard directly from those harmed.

The Iranian-American community has been and continues to be significantly and adversely impacted by the travel ban. State Department data released last week shows that in March 2017, the Government issued 40 percent fewer visas to citizens of the listed countries than it did in any average month in 2016. The number of visas issued to Iranians dropped precipitously—from 2,450 per month in 2016 to 1,572 in March 2017—notwithstanding the nationwide injunctions against both the January 27 and March 6 Executive Orders.

Declarations filed by the individuals and organizations showed how the travel ban is continuing to cause harm to the Iranian-American community, including:

Consular processes have not been restored to the status quo before the travel bans: The declarations show that visa appointments that were cancelled have not been restored; that individuals whose visas were cancelled have been forced to re-start the applications process; and that the visa applications of individuals who had previously traveled to the United States have been summarily denied without explanation. Individuals are also confused about the rules that currently apply to visa and refugee processing and, based on the Government’s conduct and inconsistent statements, fear more sudden changes in the future.

Wreaking havoc on Iranian American families: The declarations include accounts of wedding plans being disrupted, of families being forced to disconnect from each other, and medical conditions worsened by the travel ban.

Disrupting the Academic, Research and Student Communities:The declarations highlight disruption to college, graduate and law students of Iranian descent – which not only stymie their own education but erode their academic, research and other contributions to U.S. universities.

Harm to Refugees: The declarations show examples of harm to refugee applicants whose applications are not being processed despite the nationwide injunction in place, and who continue to fear for their physical safety.

Harm to U.S. Democracy: The capricious nature of the travel ban and its destructive impact on the Iranian-American community undercuts democracy at home and abroad and makes America less safe.

Pars Equality is prosecuted by Iranian-American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri with his Washington, DC-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC; the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer.

To learn more about the lawsuit, visit endthetavelban.com.

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


IABA Lawsuit in the Press

Legal Documents

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

Please note that we update this page regularly and encourage you to check back often