New York, NY – May 25, 2017 – Ten judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today upheld the national injunction of a travel ban that would have barred entry to the United States of citizens of six Muslim-majority countries. The Court found that the "Establishment Clause" of the U.S. Constitution – which bars government favoritism or hostility on the basis of religion – was likely violated by the Executive Orders issued by the Administration earlier this year. Both pre- and post-inaugural comments by the candidate and his advisors "drip[ped] with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination." Assertions of "vague words of national security" could not disguise this unconstitutional purpose.
The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) applauds our participating organizations International Refugee Assistance Project and HIAS for litigating this important case. MFA joined some 40 interfaith organizations in a "friend of the court" brief.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is considering similar litigation which, additive to the travel ban, also challenges a "pause" to the United States Refugee Assistance Program and a cap on the number of refugees that may be annually admitted to the U.S. –additional provisions of the Executive Orders. It is not unlikely the Administration will ultimately take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.
ABOUT THE MULTIFAITH ALLIANCE
The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), a project of the Tides Center, is a coalition of more than 80 faith-based and secular organizations. Its mission is to mobilize global support to alleviate the Syrian humanitarian crisis, heighten awareness of the growing dangers of not responding adequately, and advance future stability in the region. MFA conducts crisis-related briefings in the U.S. and abroad, facilitates relationships between complementary partner organizations working to help Syrian war victims, suggests improvements to law and policy, and nurtures transformative people-to-people diplomacy in the region.