The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is deeply disappointed in the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s Muslim Ban.

“We are frustrated by the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. State of Hawaii and concerned about its real-world implications. The court’s reasoning results in sanctioned discrimination, a consequence that runs counter to our values,” said Pankit J. Doshi, president of NAPABA. “Today’s decision opens the door further to hate and discrimination against Muslims and other marginalized groups. Unfortunately, the court has chosen to turn a blind eye to anti-Muslim animus and codified prejudice.”

Doshi continued, “The court’s decision to accept the government’s national security rationale and minimize the impact of the president's express statements and actions will have long-term, negative consequences.”

President Trump’s original order, announced in January 2017, stopped refugees from entering the U.S. and halted immigration from Muslim-majority countries. The federal government issued two revised versions of the Muslim ban, which continued to place discriminatory restrictions on immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries. The third version, released in September, was at issue in this case. The third order was blocked by the U.S. District Court of Hawaii and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; concurrent litigation occurred in the U.S. District Court of Maryland and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

NAPABA has condemned the Muslim ban executive order since it was first announced, and continued to oppose its later variants. NAPABA first filed an amicus brief in support of Hawaii’s challenge to the revised order in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii, which enjoined the order in March 2017. NAPABA then led 43 Asian Pacific American bar associations from around the country in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ultimately upheld Hawaii’s original Muslim ban injunction in April 2017. NAPABA most recently led 62 Asian Pacific American bar associations in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in April 2018.

In its amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court, NAPABA argued the order was not within the scope of presidential authority. NAPABA explained that Congress had deliberately omitted the option for the government to discriminate based on national origin in immigration policies when it passed the Immigration and Nationality Act, repudiating the lineage of anti-Asian orders that served as the foundation of American immigration law.

Brett Schuster, Communications Manager


Washington, D.C.

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