October 2, 2017

NIAC and Partners File First Lawsuit Against Muslim Ban 3.0

NIAC and our partners just filed the first lawsuit challenging Muslim Ban 3.0. We partnered with Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Covington Burling LLP to file the first legal challenge to the revised ban, only seven days after it was announced.

We asked you to share your stories with us. We were inundated with emails and calls from our community sharing heartbreaking stories about children that would be separated from their parents, students and researchers who would be forced to choose between their careers and their families, fiancés that would be separated from the loves of their lives, families whose lives would be thrown back into legal limbo. We could not sit on the sidelines and watch this unfold.

So we immediately took action. We partnered with advocacy groups that have been doing incredible work in this field for a long time. We also partnered with Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) to file as an organizational Plaintiff and collaborate with NIAC on telling the story of the disproportionate impact of all three Muslim bans on our community.  

This nonsensical ban continues to disproportionately single out Iranians and the Iranian-American community even more than Muslim Ban 2.0. If you add up nonimmigrant visas issued in 2016 to the countries that are currently banned and then account for the current specifications of the ban on each country, Iranians will likely account for 62% of those blocked from entry.  

Venezuela and North Korea were added as part of an effort to dress up the ban as a legitimate response to security threats. But North Korea accounts for so few visitors to the U.S. that it is statistically irrelevant and the ban on Venezuela applies only to certain government officials and their families. The inclusion of these two countries is merely a hollow attempt to conceal the true aim of the ban which is to target Muslims and Iranians.

NIAC has advocated on behalf of the Iranian American community for over 15 years. But when government sanctioned discrimination against our community is threatening to become the new norm, we were prepared to also litigate in court to protect the rights of our community and uplift Iranian Americans – and we did. We will not allow our community to be targeted. We cannot allow our community to be victimized by discriminatory policies. We stand prepared to resist, and we will fight back.

We wanted you to hear it from us first: NIAC has filed the first lawsuit in the country challenging Muslim Ban 3.0. And not only that, we are also litigating a case in New York to obtain documents responsive to a Freedom of Information Act Request seeking documents from the Trump administration. That lawsuit was also filed today. NIAC is using every single tool and legal remedy available to us to fight back against Muslim Ban 3.0.

None of this would be possible without your support. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to NIAC and to uplifting and empowering the Iranian American community. We will be in touch in the coming days with additional updates on our case against the Muslim Ban 3.0.


Shayan Modarres
Legal Counsel, NIAC

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