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March 15, 2017

Judge Issues Restraining Order on Trump Executive Order

New York City—Today, in response to a court ruling in Hawaii that imposes a nationwide block on implementation of the Trump Administration’s executive order suspending the refugee resettlement program, lowering refugee admissions to 50,000, and banning the issuance of new visas and entry to the United States to nationals of six Muslim-majority countries, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley issued the following statement:

"We are pleased that Judge Derrick K. Watson today, after careful consideration of President Trump's executive order, decided to issue a temporary restraining order, a signal once again that the rule of law has prevailed against discriminatory policies veiled in the language of national security. Despite the revisions in this executive order, the intention is clear: to ban Muslims including vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers from the United States. We know that the United States can both safeguard its security while holding strong to our ideals and protecting the persecuted, and today's ruling is confirmation of that fact."

Human Rights First, with the pro bono assistance of Simpson Thatcher and Bartlett, LLP, filed an amicus brief in the case supporting the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order. The brief was also signed by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Tahirih Justice Center, and HIAS. The organizations made the case that the implementation of the executive order would cause irreparable harm to immigrant and refugee communities.

Human Rights First calls on the Trump Administration to withdraw this discriminatory order, and to refrain from attempts to block or limit resettlement or entry of Muslims or otherwise discriminate based on religion or nationality.    

Unlike the temporary restraining order on the original executive order issued by the Ninth Circuit, Judge Watson’s ruling applies to the reduction in refugee admissions, recognizing that the primary purpose of the executive order is to ban Muslims. The order’s reduction of the United States’ refugee admission program from 110,000 to 50,000 was a blatant attempt to bar the admission of predominantly Muslim refugees.

For more information or to speak with Quigley contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.