Immigrant Rights Groups File Class Action Suit Challenging Trump Administration’s “Muslim Ban”

Ali V. Trump, et al., No. 2:17-cv-00135 (D. Wash. filed January 30, 2017)


In January 2017, the American Immigration Council, along with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the National Immigration Project filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s first Muslim ban, implemented through an executive order, on grounds that it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law and statutory prohibition against discrimination. The lawsuit was filed as a nationwide class action on behalf of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who filed immigrant visa petitions for immediate family members who were nationals of the seven predominantly Muslim countries targeted by that executive order.

On March 6, 2017, following a temporary restraining order issued in the related lawsuit Washington v. Trump, which blocked implementation of the first executive order, the Trump Administration issued a second executive order. The second order continued the same unlawful and discriminatory practices perpetuated by the first order and similarly prevented nationals of six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States on immigrant visas. On March 10, 2017, the groups filed an amended complaint challenging the second executive order, and  amended requests  to certify a class and to block the second executive order. class certification.

On March 15, 2017, the District Court held a hearing on plaintiffs’ motion to halt the implementation of the provisions in the second executive order barring immigrant visa holders from the six targeted nations from entering the country. Prior to any ruling by the District Court, district courts in Hawaii and Maryland issued injunctions halting implementation of the ban.  Consequently, on Friday, March 17, 2017, the District Court ruled that it need not rule on plaintiffs’ motion . The Court subsequently stayed proceedings pending resolution of the appeals in the Hawaii and Maryland district court cases.  In October 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the judgments in those appeals and remanded the cases for dismissal as moot. 

However, in September 2017, the Trump Administration had issued its third Muslim ban, this time by Proclamation.  The third ban indefinitely suspends immigration from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, as well as entry of certain classes of non-immigrants from those countries. Although both the Hawai’i and Maryland district courts quickly halted the ban in October 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld the ban in June 2018.  On September 21, 2018, following the filing of Plaintiffs’ unopposed notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice, the District Court terminated the case.

Follow this case:

March 16, 2017

The Trump administration has failed in its attempt to rewrite the executive order banning individuals from targeted Muslim-majority nations in order to pass legal muster. On the eve of the new...

March 13, 2017

In the week following President Trump’s issuance of a second travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries, several states and a number of immigrant rights groups immediately returned to...

January 31, 2017

The fallout continues from last week’s immigration executive order, which has been coined the “Muslim Ban.” Several lawsuits have been filed to challenge the executive order, including Ali v....

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