HIAS Applauds Latest Court Ruling Blocking Trump's Refugee Ban

WASHINGTON—A federal judge in Hawaii has once again ruled on the Trump Administration’s revised executive order, impacting the immediate future of the U.S. refugee resettlement program. The ruling allows the refugee resettlement program to continue reuniting families and offering shelter to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“This ruling provides an important measure of assurance to vulnerable refugees. Thanks to the court’s injunction, individuals seeking safety will continue to find welcome here, rather than being singled out based on wild generalizations about their faith,” said HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield.

Earlier this week, HIAS filed an amicus brief in the Hawaii case. HIAS is also a plaintiff challenging the executive order in a federal court case first heard in U.S. District Court in Maryland. A preliminary injunction related to components of the revised executive order was issued March 16. That decision is now being appealed by the federal government to the Fourth Circuit.

On March 15, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of sections two and six of the executive order, just hours before they were due to take effect. This averted a planned freeze on the refugee resettlement program, as well as a cap on the total number of refugees that would have cut 60,000 otherwise available slots in the refugee resettlement program this year.

The March 29 ruling was to determine whether to allow the temporary order to expire or to convert it into a preliminary injunction, which would allow it to stand unless or until further judicial action supersedes it. 

The March 29 decision reads, in part: “Upon consideration of the parties’ submissions, and following a hearing on March 29, 2017, the Court concludes that, on the record before it, Plaintiffs have met their burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim, that irreparable injury is likely if the requested relief is not issued, and that the balance of the equities and public interest counsel in favor of granting the requested relief.”


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