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PRESS RELEASE | NAPABA LEADS AMICUS BRIEF AGAINST MUSLIM BAN IN 9TH CIRCUIT WITH 43 BAR ASSOCIATIONS


News Release


For Immediate Release
April 21, 2017

                                                    For More Information, Contact:
                                                    Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
                                                    bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

NAPABA Leads 43 APA Bar Associations in Ninth Circuit Amicus Brief to Continue Fight in First Legal Challenge to President’s Revised Muslim and Refugee Ban

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WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) led 43 of its national associate and affiliate bar associations in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to support the preliminary injunction of President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised executive order barring refugees and individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The Trump Administration’s appeal in this case, State of Hawaii v. Trump, arises from the first legal challenge to the revised executive order, which was brought on March 7, 2017, on behalf of the State and Ismail Elshikh, Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii. NAPABA filed an amicus brief on March 12 supporting the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order. On March 15, Judge Derrick K. Watson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii granted the temporary restraining order, which he converted into a preliminary injunction on March 29 to extend the block on the travel and refugee restrictions. The U.S. district court in Maryland has also enjoined the six-country visa ban, and the Administration’s appeal in that case is pending in the Fourth Circuit, where NAPABA filed an amicus brief on April 19.

“Having challenged the revised executive order from this initial lawsuit, NAPABA is proud of the growing momentum across our national network as we continue our advocacy in the courts,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “As leaders in the legal profession and as Asian Pacific Americans whose communities have experienced the harms of exclusionary laws, NAPABA has an imperative to stand against this unlawful anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant order.” 

NAPABA’s amicus brief describes decades of statutory exclusion of citizens of Asian and Pacific Island countries under early U.S. immigration law, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — the first federal law to ban a group of people on the basis of their race. The Civil Rights Era marked a dramatic turning point that saw Congress dismantle nationality-based discrimination with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The brief explains that presidential discretion in the area of immigration and refugee admission, while broad, is limited by statute. NAPABA argues that President Trump’s revised order, with its anti-Muslim underpinnings, violates the unambiguous prohibition on discrimination established by Congress.

NAPABA recognizes lead pro bono counsel, James W. Kim, a NAPABA member and partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, in Washington, D.C., Mr. Kim’s team (including Andrew Genz, Philip Levine, Joshua Rogaczewski, Matthew Girgenti, and Michael Stanek), and NAPABA Amicus Committee co-chairs, Professor Radha Pathak of Whittier Law School and Albert Giang, a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP in Los Angeles, for their leadership drafting the brief, which also involved the efforts of NAPABA staffers.

The Ninth Circuit will hear the case on May 15, 2017, in Seattle.

NAPABA’s brief was endorsed by:

  • Arizona Asian American Bar Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago
  • Asian American Bar Association of New York
  • Asian American Bar Association of Ohio
  • Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyers Association
  • Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
  • Asian Bar Association of Washington
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Tampa Bay
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia
  • Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey
  • Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance
  • Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento
  • Austin Asian American Bar Association
  • Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago
  • Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago
  • Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego
  • Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
  • Japanese American Bar Association
  • Korean American Bar Association of Chicago
  • Korean American Bar Association of Northern California
  • Korean American Bar Association of Southern California
  • Korean-American Bar Association for the Washington, DC Area
  • Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York
  • Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Missouri Asian American Bar Association
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Hawaii Chapter
  • National Filipino American Lawyers Association
  • Orange County Asian American Bar Association
  • South Asian Bar Association of Chicago
  • South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
  • South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
  • South Asian Bar Association of Washington
  • Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association
  • Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Thai American Bar Association

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Read the amicus brief here.

Read NAPABA’s amicus brief in the district court in State of Hawai‘i v. Trump.

Read NAPABA’s amicus brief the parallel Fourth Circuit case, International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump.

Read the March 6, 2017, statement of NAPABA and the South Asian Bar Association – North America, joined by 14 affiliates, against the revised executive order.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).