Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego (FALSD) has joined 42 Asian Pacific American bar associations in the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to support the preliminary injunction of President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised executive order barring individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
The lawsuit against the revised executive order, International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, was brought on March 10 by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Maryland and the National Immigration Law Center in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on behalf of HIAS, the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Middle East Studies Association and individuals, including U.S. citizens, impacted by the Muslim ban. U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang issued the injunction on March 16, the day after a temporary restraining order—later converted into a preliminary injunction—blocked the ban in a parallel case initiated in Hawaii. The Trump Administration appealed the rulings to the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, respectively.
“The unprecedented involvement in this amicus brief across NAPABA’s national network speaks of our collective investment in ensuring this executive order is permanently struck down by the courts,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “Asian Pacific Americans have historically been targeted by exclusionary laws, giving us first-hand perspectives on the harms this order inflicts upon Muslim and immigrant communities. NAPABA’s community has stepped up to strongly oppose this attack on core American rights and values.”
The amicus brief describes decades of statutory exclusion of citizens of Asian and Pacific Island countries under early U.S. immigration law, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — the first federal law to ban a group of people on the basis of their race. The Civil Rights Era marked a dramatic turning point that saw Congress dismantle nationality-based discrimination with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The brief explains that presidential discretion in the area of immigration and refugee admission, while broad, is limited by statute. NAPABA argues that President Trump’s revised order, with its anti-Muslim underpinnings, violates the unambiguous prohibition against discrimination established by Congress.
The Fourth Circuit will hear the case on May 8 in Richmond, Va.
FALSD is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Filipino American legal professionals and the Asian Pacific American community. FALSD is an affiliate of NAPABA, the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities.