IRLI Files Brief in Maryland Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s National Security Executive Order

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March 15, 2017

Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States

March 15, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – Late last night, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief (attached here) in another federal lawsuit challenging President Trump’s March 6th Executive Order temporarily freezing the issuance of visas to certain previously designated terror-risk nations. The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, and the National Immigration Law Center, among others. The EO is scheduled to take effect March 16th.

In the case of International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, several associations, individuals and three purported classes of aliens are seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction (PI) against the EO’s implementation. A hearing on the request is scheduled for today.

The plaintiffs allege that the new EO violates the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause by singling out Muslims for disfavored treatment, the Equal Protection Clause by discriminating on the basis of religion and national origin, and the Due Process Clause because it has a disparate effect on Muslims. The plaintiffs also bring claims under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Administrative Procedure Act, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and Refugee Act.

In its brief filed today, IRLI urged the court to deny the plaintiffs’ request for a TRO and PI. In its brief, IRLI argued that the plaintiffs’ statutory arguments betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the comprehensive statutory scheme Congress has enacted in the INA. IRLI explained to the court that the comprehensive statutory scheme for expelling aliens by executive proclamation derives from plenary power assigned in the Constitution to Congress and delegated to the president. IRLI called the court’s attention to at least six distinct provisions in the INA that authorize the President to implement the EO, sources of authority that the plaintiffs failed to discuss at all, or even acknowledge.

Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “Congress has absolute authority over immigration and it has delegated to the President by statute broad authority to control the entry of aliens into the United States to protect American interests.” Wilcox continued, “This lawsuit, like the others, has no merit under law. As long as these open-borders advocates file lawsuits, IRLI will intervene and fight for the security and sovereignty of the American people.”

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