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News & Press: Press Releases

NAPABA LEADS 43 APA BAR ASSNS IN 4TH CIRCUIT AMICUS BRIEF SUPPORTING BLOCK OF REVISED MUSLIM BAN

Thursday, April 20, 2017  
Posted by: Brett Schuster
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News Release


For Immediate Release
April 20, 2017

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

NAPABA Leads 43 Asian Pacific American Bar Associations in Fourth Circuit
Amicus Brief Supporting Block of President’s Revised Muslim 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 Fourth Circuit to support the preliminary injunction of President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised executive order barring individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The lawsuit against the revised executive order was filed in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump on March 10, 2017, by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Maryland, and the National Immigration Law Center in the U.S. District of Maryland on behalf of HIAS Inc., the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Middle East Studies Association, and individuals —including U.S. citizens — impacted by the Muslim ban. U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang issued the injunction on March 16, the day after a temporary restraining order — later converted into a preliminary injunction — blocked the ban in a parallel case initiated in Hawaii. The Trump Administration appealed the rulings to the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, respectively.  

“The unprecedented involvement in this amicus brief by members across NAPABA’s national network speaks to our collective investment in ensuring this executive order is permanently struck down by the courts,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “Asian Pacific Americans have historically been targeted by exclusionary laws, giving us first-hand perspectives on the harms this order inflicts upon Muslim and immigrant communities. NAPABA’s community has stepped up to strongly oppose this attack on core American values.”  

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 principal counsel of record Joshua Rogaczewski, Philip Levine, Michael Stanek and Matthew Girgenti), 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 Fourth Circuit will hear the case on May 8, 2017, in Richmond, Virginia.

NAPABA’s brief was joined 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 district court amicus brief in the parallel case, State of Hawaii 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).