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April 24, 2017

Amicus Brief: Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit - State of Hawaii V. Donald J. Trump

As President George Washington wrote to a religious minority community containing many immigrants in 1790, “the Government of the United States . . . gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” From as early as the arrival of the Pilgrims, the Quakers, the Baptists, and the Anabaptists, this land has been a haven for immigrants, regardless of their faith and country of birth. Freedom of religion and freedom from the establishment of religion are, of course, enshrined in our First Amendment.

The President’s Executive Order, issued on March 6, 2017 and entitled “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” (the “Executive Order”), hews away at these foundations of our nation, baselessly labeling more than one hundred and eighty million citizens of Iran, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen as terrorist threats and banning them from traveling here based solely on their national origin. That the targeted countries are all predominantly Muslim nations, and that the President repeatedly campaigned on a promise to ban the entry of Muslims, suggests that the Order was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional disfavoring of Islam. This is not who we are as a country, and this is not allowed by our Constitution. The Executive Order also violates the Immigration and Nationality Act’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of national origin, for the reasons set forth in Plaintiffs-Appellees’ brief below.

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