NEW YORK, May 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is urging a federal appeals court to uphold an injunction against implementation of President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration, which temporarily bars visitors from seven majority Muslim countries.
"The executive order lacks a sufficiently rational connection to the national security problems it purports to address," states the AJC amicus brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit case of International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump. AJC argues that "the Executive Order is lacking in any bona fide or facially legitimate government purpose" and is "contrary to our nation's long history of rational Executive and Legislative action for the humanitarian protection of persecuted populations."
The Second Executive Order was issued on March 6, after the first one, issued in January, was blocked by the courts.
"We do not deny the importance of careful screening of visitors, refugees and immigrants, lest America's welcoming tradition serve as a pathway for would-be terrorists. Neither do we negate the importance of ensuring that citizens feel certain that they are safe from imported terrorism," said AJC General Counsel Marc Stern.
"But as with all government actions, restrictions on immigration—particularly when cast in terms as subject to abuse as national origin (with at least a subtext of religion)—need at a minimum be anchored in a rational basis in evidence," Stern continued. "Campaign rhetoric that panders to prejudice or unjustified fears of foreigners does not count. The latest Executive Order fails this test and therefore cannot stand."
For more than 111 years AJC has advocated for an inclusive America that provides safe haven for those fleeing persecution and seeking to contribute to the United States. AJC has from its inception supported fair and just immigration policies for people of all races, religions, and national origins, consistent with its position that a strong, united America is vital for global freedom and security.
The AJC brief was prepared by Adam S. Lurie, Vijaya R. Palaniswamy, Caitlin K. Potratz and Sean M. Solomon of the Washington office of Linklaters, LLP, together with Marc D. Stern, AJC's General Counsel.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee