International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump
IRLI filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a federal lawsuit challenging President Trump’s March 6th Executive Order temporarily freezing the issuance of visas to certain previously designated terror-risk nations. The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, and the National Immigration Law Center, among others. The EO was scheduled to take effect March 16th.
In the case of International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, several associations, individuals and three purported classes of aliens sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction (PI) against the EO’s implementation.
The plaintiffs alleged that the new EO violates the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause by singling out Muslims for disfavored treatment, the Equal Protection Clause by discriminating on the basis of religion and national origin, and the Due Process Clause because it has a disparate effect on Muslims. The plaintiffs also brought claims under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Administrative Procedure Act, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and Refugee Act.
In its brief, IRLI urged the court to deny the plaintiffs’ request for a TRO and PI. In its brief, IRLI argued that the plaintiffs’ statutory arguments betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the comprehensive statutory scheme Congress has enacted in the INA. IRLI explained to the court that the comprehensive statutory scheme for expelling aliens by executive proclamation derives from plenary power assigned in the Constitution to Congress and delegated to the president. IRLI called the court’s attention to at least six distinct provisions in the INA that authorize the President to implement the EO, sources of authority that the plaintiffs failed to discuss at all, or even acknowledge.