A group of Iranian-American organizations (PAAIA, IABA, PEC, and NIAC) have collectively filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration recent travel ban that has effected Americans of Iranian descent the most in comparison to the six other targeted countries.
Yesterday, a federal appeals court denied the administration’s request for removal of a temporary block put in place by Washington state-presiding judge, James Robart, on the administration’s chaos-inducing executive order.
“We are arguing that this is a different case,” Executive Director of PAAIA, Dr. Leila Austin tell us. “A discrimination lawsuit on behalf of people of Iranian descent that have been adversely affected.”
As a result of the travel ban, in one particularly distressing case (amongst many) a 5-year-old Iranian boy, a U.S. citizen from Maryland, was handcuffed and detained for hours at Dulles International airport before his mother was allowed to see him.
The lawsuit, led by Cyrus Mehri, a civil rights attorney in Washington, DC., is intended to “stop the implementation of the ban permanently,” says Dr. Austin.
Dr. Austin believes the ban is troubling because, “it is in the name of national security, yet it wouldn’t have prevented single act of terrorism. In the case of Iran, there was not one case of an American being killed by a terrorist attack in this country by a person It is discriminatory. Under American immigration laws there can be no discrimination based on national origin. The United States Constitution provides for Due Process, Equal Protection and First Amendment/Establishment Clause.”
It is important to fight this ban and “any act of discrimination as early as possible,” Austin concludes. Our voice needs to be heard not only once, but multiple times to count. This is only the beginning of what could be harsher acts of discrimination.
“We think we have a good case! We are confident.”