WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced a win in an ongoing federal lawsuit on behalf of six individuals challenging the lawfulness of President Trump's "Muslim ban 3.0."
SEE: 'The Words of the President' Doom Trump Travel Ban, Fourth Circuit Says
A panel of 13 judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., sitting "en banc," today declared Trump's Muslim ban illegal and unconstitutional.
[NOTE: CAIR and the Brennan Center for Justice filed the lawsuit in October 2017. On appeal, this case, Zakzok v. Trump, was consolidated with two others and were jointly decided by the Fourth Circuit today.]
In its ruling against the Trump administration, the court concluded that "the Proclamation [Muslim Ban 3.0] is unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam." The court went on to state that the Muslim ban violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause because the primary purpose of the ban is "to exclude Muslims from the United States."
The Fourth Circuit recognized the great harm endured by those affected by the Muslim ban: "Prolonged and indefinite separation of parents, children, siblings, and partners create not only temporary feelings of anxiety but also lasting strains on the most basic human relationships cultivated through shared time and experience."
In its opinion, the court pointed to CAIR's client Fahed Muqbil to emphasis the harm done by the ban: "Plaintiff Fahed Muqbil has a one-year-old daughter who, due to severe birth defects, has been undergoing multiple life-threatening surgeries in the United States without her mother, a Yemeni national, by her side."
On the eve of Muslim Ban 3.0's anniversary, Muqbil's wife entered the United States, reuniting the Muqbil family in Mississippi.
Video: CAIR Welcomes Home to Mississippi a Family Separated by the Muslim Ban
Because the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the administration to implement Muslim Ban 3.0 while the various legal challenges against it unfold, the Fourth Circuit's decision will not have any immediate effect on the ability of foreign nationals from the banned countries to obtain a U.S. visa.
"As the court properly concluded, the government cannot exclude anyone from entering the United States based on his or her religion," said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri.
"The Fourth Circuit's decision is the latest blow to the Trump administration's ugly white supremacist agenda," said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas
"We are pleased that another court has recognized the enduring harm that American Muslims are suffering due to discriminatory and unconstitutional policies put forward by the Trump administration," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
This is the latest court ruling against the Trump administration's efforts to implement its Muslim Ban.
In December of last year, CAIR applauded the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' unanimous decision against the Trump administration's "Muslim Ban 3.0."
SEE: CAIR Welcomes Another Court Ruling Against Trump's 'Muslim Ban 3.0'
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)