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IRLI Files Brief in Supreme Court Defending Trump National Security Executive Order


Ensuring the safety and security of our communities

June 12, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed an amicus curiae brief (attached here) in one of the main federal lawsuits challenging President Trump’s March 6th Executive Order (EO) to temporarily freeze the issuance of visas to persons from certain previously designated terror-risk countries. The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the George Soros-funded National Immigration Law Center.

In the case of International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, several taxpayer-funded refugee-lobby organizations and relatives of aliens outside the United States sought and obtained from a Maryland district court a nationwide preliminary injunction (PI) against the EO’s implementation. A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently upheld the PI along party lines (ten Democrat versus three Republican appointed judges). Both courts ruled that Trump’s EO was motivated by anti-Muslim animus and therefore likely violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

In its brief filed today, IRLI urged the Supreme Court to reject the Fourth Circuit’s holding and rationale. IRLI demonstrated that “the Fourth Circuit defied a large body of Supreme Court precedents establishing that, in First Amendment challenges, courts should give no more than limited scrutiny to presidential directives in the area of war, foreign relations, and the admission of aliens.” IRLI also argued that “the Fourth Circuit’s reasoning entails a train of striking absurdities.” IRLI explained that if the lower court’s view were adopted, “private litigants” would be able to “enjoin President Trump’s war on the religious group known as the Islamic State.” Additionally, the Fourth Circuit’s reasoning “pits different clauses of the First Amendment (to wit, the Establishment Clause and the Free Speech Clause) against each other,” and creates the absurd implication that “what is constitutional for one president is unconstitutional for another.” Lastly, IRLI argued that the Fourth Circuit’s “reasoning, if applied broadly, would make this country vulnerable to long-term foreign threats.”

Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “This case is an organized attempt by activist groups, funded by foreign money, to remove from the American people and their elected representatives the power to decide who can come into the country and who cannot.” Wilcox continued, “The solution here is for the Supreme Court to reaffirm the principle that this power is absolute and belongs to the American people and not unelected judges.”

For additional information, contact: Olivia de la Peña • 202-232-5590 • odelapena@irli.org


IRLI is a supporting organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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