Mar 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – Five Maryland residents and two organizations serving Iranian Americans – all plaintiffs in the Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) v. Trump challenge to President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban – today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the ban.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed today by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Muslim Advocates and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP in the Trump v. Hawaii challenge, the plaintiffs describe how the Muslim ban continues to harm them: cruelly separating Americans from their families, interfering with the organizations’ educational and cultural missions, and inflaming anti-Islam sentiment that endangers all American Muslims and Americans perceived to be Muslim.

“[The Muslim ban] reneges on our Nation’s commitment to religious freedom by targeting Muslims for denigration and discrimination based solely on their faith,” the brief explains. “This marking of one religion for exclusion—this ban on Muslims—cannot be justified by the government’s asserted interest in national security: The ban is woefully ill-suited to achieving that interest; and the government has made no meaningful changes that sever the policy from the hostility toward Islam that spawned it.”

According to Rachel Laser, executive director of Americans United: “Trump’s Muslim ban undermines our country’s fundamental promise of religious freedom. The Supreme Court surely understands that history will not look kindly on this flagrant discrimination against one religious group. America must remain a country where people are never treated as second-class citizens based on their beliefs.”

IAAB v. Trump was the first major lawsuit brought against Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0. The plaintiffs include Iranian Alliances Across Borders, an Iranian-American diaspora community organization; the Iranian Students’ Foundation, a student group at the University of Maryland; and six individuals, all of whom are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with relatives or spouses who are blocked from coming to the United States by the Muslim ban. The lawsuit was filed in consultation with the National Iranian American Council.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in February in favor of the IAAB plaintiffs and the plaintiffs in two companion cases, proclaiming that Muslim Ban 3.0 is “unconstitutionally tainted with animus towards Islam.” The IAAB plaintiffs filed today’s amicus brief to ensure that the compelling issues raised in their case are considered by the high court.

•           Click here to read the amicus brief.

•           Click here to read the 4th Circuit ruling.

•           Click here to read the complaint in IAAB v. Trump.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.

Iranian Alliances Across Borders is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 2003. IAAB addresses issues of the Iranian diaspora by facilitating community building, developing ways to better understand what it means to be part of a diaspora community, and empowering members of the Iranian diaspora community to enhance connections with their new communities as well as maintain connections with their root community.