President Donald Trump’s executive orders restricting immigration from several Muslim-majority countries are the Muslim ban that he promised on the campaign trail. They violate religious freedom by singling out one religious group—Muslims—for discrimination based solely on religion. And that’s not only unconstitutional, it’s downright un-American.

Religious freedom is about fairness – we don’t treat people differently because their beliefs are different than ours. And we certainly don’t ban people from America based on their religion.

Americans United joined Muslim Advocates and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP in filing the first major litigation against Muslim Ban 3.0 on Oct. 2. The plaintiffs in Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump include IAAB, a nonprofit that serves the Iranian diaspora community, and six individuals, all of whom are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with Iranian relatives who will be blocked from coming to the United States when Muslim Ban 3.0 goes fully into effect on Oct. 18. Learn more here.


Recent Developments

Cases

Statements From AU

Blog Posts & Analysis

Video Updates
 



 
  • Oct. 6: Americans United and allies filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump, asking the court to block President Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0 from taking effect. The brief argues that if Trump’s Muslim ban is allowed to become permanent, it will irreparably harm the plaintiffs, including by permanently separating the individual plaintiffs from their loved ones in Iran. Read our statement here and our blog post here.

  • Oct. 5: Americans United and allies filed a lawsuitMuslim Advocates v. Department of Homeland Security, against the Trump administration, demanding that the administration release information about how individuals can obtain waivers from the Muslim ban. Case-by-case waivers are the only hope that travelers from the banned countries have of visiting or immigrating to America, yet the administration hasn't released information about how such waivers can be obtained. Read our statement here and our blog post here.

  • Oct. 2: Americans United joined allies in filing the first major litigation against Muslim Ban 3.0. The plaintiffs in Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump include IAAB, a nonprofit that serves the Iranian diaspora community, and six individuals, all of whom are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with Iranian relatives who will be blocked from coming to the United States when Muslim Ban 3.0 goes fully into effect on Oct. 18. Read our statement here and our blog post here.

  • Sept. 25: In light of President Donald Trump issuing Muslim Ban 3.0 on Sept. 24, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily canceled the oral arguments that had been scheduled for Oct. 10 in two cases challenging the previous version of the Muslim ban. The government and the plaintiffs were asked to file briefs by Oct. 5 explaining whether the cases should proceed. Watch AU’s Facebook Live video about Muslim Ban 3.0 and the Supreme Court’s order here

  • Sept. 24: As parts of Muslim Ban 2.0 were expiring, President Donald Trump indefinitely extended the ban on nationals of the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, and also expanded the ban to include the Muslim-majority country of Chad, as well as North Korea and certain Venezuelan government officials and their families. The addition of a minuscule number of travelers from North Korea and Venezuela is simply a distraction – this is still the Muslim ban. Read AU’s analysis about Muslim Ban 3.0 here.

  • Sept. 18: Americans United and allies filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court explaining that President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is un-American and unconstitutional because it singles out a group of people for disfavor based solely on their religion. Joining the brief were the religious and civil-rights organizations Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, People For the American Way Foundation and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Also joining were The Riverside Church in the City of New York and seven faith leaders from Colorado, Florida, Minnesota and New York. Read AU’s statement about our brief here; a blog about it here; and watch a Facebook Live video with AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee and Legal Fellow Andrew Nellis here.

  • Sept. 12: The U.S. Supreme Court acted to prevent refugees already working with U.S.-based resettlement agencies from entering the country before full arguments on the ban are heard on Oct. 10. This blocked a Sept. 7 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that would have lifted the ban on such refugees.

  • July 20: Americans United joined allies in filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Trump administration. We are seeking the release of detailed information regarding the Muslim ban executive order’s “extreme vetting” policies. We want the public to know whether Trump is using this “extreme vetting” as a way of implementing the Muslim ban and making it permanent, away from the scrutiny of the press, courts and American public. Read our statement about the FOIA request here.

  • July 19: The U.S. Supreme Court left in place a Hawaii district court’s order that the U.S. must grant entry to grandparents and other extended family members from the six targeted Muslim-majority countries, lifting the “grandma ban” that cruelly separated families. At the same time, the high court suspended the lower court’s order that an estimated 24,000 refugees who are already working with U.S.-based resettlement agencies should be allowed to enter the country. Read our blog post explaining the latest Supreme Court developments here and our statement about the end of the “grandma ban” here.

  • June 26: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in two of the Muslim ban cases, IRAP v. Trump and State of Hawaiʻi v. Trump. The court also allowed the ban to take effect for people without ties to the United States. Read AU's statement on the decision and our blogs about this and other Supreme Court actions. AU's attorneys explained the Court's actions in this Facebook Live video.

  • June 12: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle upheld the preliminary injunction blocking Muslim Ban 2.0 from going into effect. The ruling came in State of Hawaiʻi v. Trump, a case in which Americans United was joined by allies in filing a friend-of-the-court brief. Read AU's statement on the decision here.

  • May 25: The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia upheld the preliminary injunction blocking Muslim Ban 2.0 from going into effect. The ruling came in IRAP v. Trump, a case in which Americans United was joined by allies in filing a friend-of-the-court brief. The court called Trump’s directive “an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.” Read AU's statement and blog about the decision, and watch a Facebook Live video of our attorneys explaining the court's order.

  • May 11: U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington, D.C., issued an order in UMAA v. Trump (the lawsuit AU filed with our allies) that indicates the judge believes the president’s Muslim-ban executive order likely violates the First Amendment. The judge declined to issue our requested preliminary injunction because two other federal courts already have blocked the ban from going into effect. But Judge Chutkan indicated that she is ready to rule “without delay” if both of the existing injunctions are lifted by federal appeals courts.

  • May 8: The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia heard arguments in IRAP v. Trump on whether the nationwide preliminary injunction blocking Muslim Ban 2.0 should remain in place. A federal judge in Maryland had issued the injunction in early March. Americans United and our allies filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case. Our attorneys attended the hearing and offered commentary in a Facebook Live video.
  • April 21: Americans United and our allies presented arguments to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington, D.C., to put Muslim Ban 2.0 on hold nationwide while our case, UMAA v. Trump, proceeds. This is the first time our case went before a judge.
  • April 21: Americans United, joined by Bend the Arc, the Southern Poverty Law Center, seven faith leaders and the Riverside Church in New York City, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in State of Hawaiʻi v. Trump in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. We argue that the court should uphold the lower court’s order, which blocked President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 from being enforced nationwide. Read a blog about why the clergy joined our brief.
  • April 19: Americans United, joined by Bend the Arc, the Southern Poverty Law Center, five faith leaders and the Riverside Church in New York City, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in IRAP v. Trump in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. We argue that the court should uphold the lower court’s order, which blocked President Trump’s second ban on immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries from being enforced nationwide. Read a blog about why the clergy joined our brief.
  • March 24: Americans United joined Muslim Advocates, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP in filing a new lawsuit, UMAA v. Trump, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The suit was filed on behalf of the Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA), whose Shi’a Muslim members are being deprived of access to their religious scholars from Iran, Iraq and Syria. Read our statement and blog about the case.
     
  • March 15: The U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order blocking Muslim Ban 2.0 hours before it was scheduled to go into effect. Americans United had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case, State of Hawaiʻi v. Trump.
  • March 10: Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case State of Hawaiʻi v. Trump in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Joined by the Southern Poverty Law Center, we argue that Muslim Ban 2.0 still has the same problem as the original order, mainly that the ban violates religious freedom by singling out one religious group for discrimination based solely upon their religion.
  • March 6: President Trump issued a new executive order that still bars immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries. Americans United calls it Muslim Ban 2.0, and we'll continue to fight against this religious-based discrimination.
  • March 1: Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case Pars Equality Center v. Trump in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Joined by the Southern Poverty Law Center, we argue that the first Muslim ban violates religious freedom by singling out one religious group — Muslims — for discrimination based solely upon their religion.
  • March 1: AU Attorney Bradley Girard, Faith Organizer Bill Mefford and Field Associate Erin Hagen joined with Kristin Garrity Şekerci from The Bridge Initiative (a Georgetown University multi-year research project on Islamophobia) to host a Facebook Live training, “Standing With Our Muslim Neighbors.”
  • Feb. 13: The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a preliminary injunction that blocks the first Muslim ban from being implemented in Virginia. The judge's ruling references the conflict between Trump's executive order and the First Amendment's guarantee that government can't single out a religion for disfavor — the basis for AU's argument in the case.
  • Feb. 9: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused the administration’s requests to put the first Muslim ban back into effect, keeping the hold in place nationwide.

 

« Back To Top »

 

Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump

The first major litigation filed against Muslim Ban 3.0 on Oct. 2, Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump was filed by Americans United, Muslim Advocates and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP on behalf of IAAB, a nonprofit that serves the Iranian diaspora community, and six individuals, all of whom are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with Iranian relatives who will be blocked from coming to the United States when Muslim Ban 3.0 goes fully into effect on Oct. 18. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Maryland.

AU's motion for a preliminary injunction

AU’s complaint


Trump v. State of Hawaiʻi

On Sept. 12, the U.S. Supreme Court acted to prevent refugees already working with U.S.-based resettlement agencies from entering the country before full arguments on the ban are heard on Oct. 10. This blocked a Sept. 7 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that would have lifted the ban on such refugees. On July 19, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place a July 13 order from Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii that lifted the “grandma ban” by ordering the Trump administration to allow grandparents and other extended family members from the six targeted Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S. At the same time, the high court suspended the portion of Judge Watson’s order that would grant entry to an estimated 24,000 refugees who are already working with U.S.-based resettlement agencies. The Trump administration has appealed Judge Watson’s order to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Trump v. State of Hawaiʻi and Trump v. IRAP on Oct. 11.

On June 26, when the high court agreed to hear the cases, it allowed the Muslim ban to take effect only for people without ties to the United States. The high court’s action came after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction blocking Muslim Ban 2.0. AU had been joined by Bend the Arc, the Southern Poverty Law Center, seven faith leaders and the Riverside Church in New York City in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in this case. The appeals court had largely kept in place the original injunction issued by Judge Watson, who first blocked the Muslim ban on March 15.

The U.S. Supreme Court's Sept. 25 order

AU's Sept. 18 amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court's Sept. 12 order

The 9th Circuit's Sept. 7 opinion

The U.S. Supreme Court's July 19 order

The district court's July 13 order

The U.S. Supreme Court's June 26 opinion

The 9th Circuit's June 12 decision

AU's amicus brief in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

The district court's March 29 decision

The district court's March 15 decision

AU's amicus brief in the District of Hawaii


Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Trump v. IRAP and Trump v. State of Hawaiʻi on Oct. 11. On June 26, when the high court agreed to hear the cases, it allowed the Muslim ban to take effect only for people without ties to the United States. The high court’s action came after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction blocking Muslim Ban 2.0. AU had been joined by Bend the Arc, the Southern Poverty Law Center, five faith leaders and the Riverside Church in New York City in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in this case. The appeals court had largely kept in place the order issued by Judge Theodore D. Chuang in Maryland, who issued a nationwide injunction against Muslim Ban 2.0 on March 16. 

The U.S. Supreme Court's Sept. 25 order

AU's Sept. 18 amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court's June 26 opinion

The 4th Circuit's decision

AU's amicus brief in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

The district court’s March 16 decision


Universal Muslim Association of America v. Trump

On May 11, U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington, D.C., issued an order that indicates the judge believes the president’s Muslim Ban 2.0 likely violates the First Amendment. The judge declined to issue the preliminary injunction AU had requested because two other federal courts already have blocked the ban from going into effect. But Judge Chutkan indicated that she is ready to rule “without delay” if both of the existing injunctions are lifted by federal appeals courts. On March 24, Americans United joined with Muslim Advocates, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP in filing UMAA v. Trump in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The suit was filed on behalf of the Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA), whose Shi’a Muslim members are being deprived of access to their religious scholars from Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The district court's May 11 decision

AU’s complaint


State of Washington v. Trump

On Feb. 3, Judge James L. Robart of the Western District of Washington entered a nationwide temporary restraining order, placing the first Muslim ban on hold and restoring the status quo. His decision was affirmed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 9. After Trump issued the second Muslim ban, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to address the new ban, and the case is ongoing.

The 9th Circuit’s decision

AU’s amicus brief in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

AU’s amicus brief in the Western District of Washington


Pars Equality Center v. Trump

On March 1, Americans United was joined by the Southern Poverty Law Center in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in this case that originally was filed against the first Muslim ban in District Court for the District of Columbia. After Trump issued the second Muslim ban, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to address the new ban, and the case is ongoing.

AU's amicus brief in the District of Columbia


Aziz v. Trump

On Feb. 13, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia entered a preliminary injunction against the travel-ban portion of President Trump's first executive order. This injunction, which only applies to Virginia, means that the first Muslim ban will not take effect while the case in Virginia is litigated. Importantly, Judge Brinkema's decision was based on her finding that the ban was indeed a Muslim ban and thus that it likely violated the First Amendment.

The district court's decision

AU’s amicus brief in the Eastern District of Virginia

 

« Back To Top »

 

Americans United And Allies Seek Preliminary Injunction To Prevent Muslim Ban 3.0 From Going Into Effect

AU And Allies File First Major Litigation Against Muslim Ban 3.0

Americans United And Allies Tell Supreme Court President Trump’s Muslim Ban Is An Unconstitutional Violation Of Religious Freedom

Americans United Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Order Stopping Trump’s Muslim Ban From Barring Grandparents, Extended Families

Americans United: U.S. Supreme Court Should Rule Against President Trump’s Unconstitutional Muslim Ban

Americans United Hails Another Victory Against President Trump’s Un-American Muslim Ban

Americans United: Victory On Muslim Ban; No One Should Be Singled Out For Discrimination Based On Religious Beliefs

Americans United, Muslim Advocates and SPLC File Lawsuit Against Muslim Ban 2.0

Trump's New Executive Order on Immigration Is Still An Offensive, Unconstitutional Muslim Ban


« Back To Top »

 

Americans United Asks Court To Block Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0

Americans United And Allies File First Lawsuit Against Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0

President Trump’s New Travel Restrictions: Muslim Ban 3.0

AU To Supreme Court: Muslim Ban Violates Constitution’s Promise Of Religious Freedom And Fairness

The U.S. Supreme Court Has Rejected Trump’s Cruel ‘Grandma Ban,’ But Refugees Remain In Limbo

What’s Next For Trump’s Muslim Ban

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0

Trump's New Muslim Ban: Still Illegal, Still An Insult To American Values

Trump’s Muslim Ban Offends American Values – And That’s Why Americans United Is Helping Take Him On In Court

Trump's Muslim Ban: A Promise Made And, Tragically, Kept

Trump’s Expected Order Targeting Muslims Is Un-American and Breaks Our Nation’s Promise of Religious Freedom
 

« Back To Top »

 

  • AU Legal Fellows Alison Tanner and Andrew Nellis on Sept. 25 explain President Trump's Muslim Ban 3.0 and the U.S. Supreme Court's resulting order temporarily canceling the Oct. 10 arguments: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)

 

  • AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee and Legal Fellow Andrew Nellis on Sept. 18 talk about the friend-of-the-court brief that AU filed with the U.S.Supreme Court, explaining that the Muslim ban is an unconstitutional violation of religious freedom: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)
  • AU Attorneys Carmen Green, Bradley Girard and Andrew Nellis on June 26 explain the Supreme Court's actions in the Muslim ban cases IRAP v. Trump and State of Hawaiʻi v. Trump, as well as rulings in two other cases with significant implications for religions freedom: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)
  • AU Attorneys Bradley Girard and Andrew Nellis on May 25 explain the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' order in IRAP v. Trump that keeps Muslim Ban 2.0 on hold nationwide: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)

 

  • AU Attorneys Andrew Nellis and Kelly Percival, standing outside the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. on May 8, discuss the arguments presented in IRAP v. Trump on whether the nationwide preliminary injunction blocking Muslim Ban 2.0 should remain in place: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)
  • AU Attorneys Kelly Percival and Andrew Nellis, standing outside the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on April 21, discuss the arguments presented in UMAA v. Trump, our lawsuit challenging President Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)

 

  • AU Attorneys Kelly Percival and Andrew Nellis describe UMAA v. Trump, the lawsuit AU and our allies filed on March 24 to challenge President Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)

 

  • AU Attorney Bradley Girard, Field Associate Erin Hagen and Faith Organizer Bill Mefford joined Kristin Garrity Şekerci from The Bridge Initiative (a Georgetown University multi-year research project on Islamophobia) on March 1 to host a Facebook Live training, “Standing With Our Muslim Neighbors": (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)

 

  • AU Attorneys Andrew Nellis and Bradley Girard explain the 9th Circuit Court's Feb. 13 ruling that keeps the Muslim ban on hold nationwide: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)

 

  • Speaking from Seattle, AU attorneys Bradley Girard and Andrew Nellis explain a U.S. District Court judge's Feb. 9 ruling in Washington v. Trump, which put a hold on the Muslim ban nationwide: (if video is not loading, watch on Facebook)