First Time Court Hears Live Testimony on Impact in Connection With Any of Pending Travel Ban Cases
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in coordination with pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (APKS), Iranian-American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, D.C.- based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, and his firm, continued the fight against President Trump’s unlawful travel ban. Plaintiffs representing Iranian-American organizations that filed a lawsuit challenging the travel ban, presented live testimony to the U.S District Court of Washington, D.C. – a first for a federal court involved in any of the travel ban cases around the country. Today’s oral arguments come after Plaintiffs filed suit against the first order on February 8th (See Pars v. Trump, 17-cv-00255 (D.D.C.)), and moved to amend a complaint in D.C. District Court on March 15 for the second order.
“The revised executive order still constitutes an unlawful Muslim Ban,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law. “The new executive order does not cure the discriminatory and unconstitutional effect of the first travel ban and invites illegal profiling of minority and religious communities on the basis of race, national origin and religion right here in the United States. We will continue to resist this administration’s unlawful policies that hurt American democracy.”
More than a year after promising to ban Muslims from entering the United states, and just one week after his inauguration, President Trump followed through on his most controversial campaign promise by signing an Executive Order banning entry of all nationals from seven Muslim majority nations and suspending the US refugee program worldwide. After losing in the courts, the administration tweaked the order, issuing a second travel ban promising the “same policy outcomes.”
The renewed challenge, like the first, was filed on behalf of several individuals and four prominent Iranian-American organizations: Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans as well as over 20 individual plaintiffs. The lawsuit seeks to protect and defend the Iranian-American community in the United States and abroad from the harmful and discriminatory effects of the Executive Order. Plaintiffs intend to seek injunctive relief to stop implementation of the new order.
A second hearing, which will consist of oral argument by the attorneys for the plaintiffs as well as the government, will be held on April 21 at 2 pm.
About the Lawyers’ Committee:
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Formed over 50 years ago, we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; employment; voting; education; environmental justice; and criminal justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law