Press Release: NAPABA Applauds Restraining Order Against President’s Revised Muslim and Refugee Ban

For Immediate Release
March 15, 2017

For More Information, Contact: 
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
[email protected], 202-775-9555

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii’s nationwide order to halt President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised executive order barring individuals from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees from entering the United States, which would have gone into effect on March 16.

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson granted the State of Hawaii’s motion for a temporary restraining order hours after the hearing, which was held earlier today. He concluded that Hawaii had met its burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success on the merits of its Establishment Clause claim, that irreparable injury would likely occur if the executive order was not halted, and that the “balance of the equities and public interest” warranted the relief.

On March 12, NAPABA filed an amicus brief in support of Hawaii, describing the history of the statutory exclusion of Asians and Pacific Islanders under early U.S. immigration law — including the first federal law to ban a group of people from entering the country on the basis of race — prior to the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which outlawed nationality-based discrimination. NAPABA argued that President Trump’s revised order, with its anti-Muslim underpinnings, violates this unambiguous prohibition on discrimination established by Congress.

The court agreed with Hawaii’s assertion that religious animus motivated the revised order. Noting the Muslim-majority populations of the countries at issue, Judge Watson wrote, “It would therefore be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam.”

NAPABA will continue to work to ensure the executive order is permanently struck down by the courts.

Read Judge Watson’s order here (PDF).

Read NAPABA’s amicus brief here.

Read the statement of NAPABA and the South Asian Bar Association – North America, joined by 14 affiliates, against the revised executive order.

Read the March 6, 2017, statement of NAPABA and the South Asian Bar Association – North America, joined by 14 affiliates, against the revised executive order.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at202-775-9555 or [email protected].

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).