Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Sirine Shebaya, acting legal director for Muslim Advocates, regarding U.S. District Judge James Donato’s decision in Emami v. Nielsen, a class action suit on behalf of 36 individuals who have had waivers from President Trump’s Muslim Ban wrongfully denied or stalled. Click here to learn more about the clients and the case:
Yesterday’s decision is an important step forward for the 36 plaintiffs and the countless individuals and families like them who have been denied a real chance to get a waiver from the Muslim Ban. Instead, they have received nothing more than blanket denials and stalling tactics from the Trump administration.
By all indications, the waiver process has been a sham. According to the State Department’s data, the administration has only approved a pitiful number of cases so far, even for individuals like our clients who face dire medical or family circumstances. The government has also refused to be transparent about how many people are actually getting waivers, what the waiver process amounts to and how people are denied waivers without ever having had a chance to apply for them. The government’s implementation of the waiver process has been inherently arbitrary and has violated even its own rules and procedures. This lawsuit will allow us to get real answers to these questions.
As always, we will continue to fight to hold the government accountable for its promises. We will do everything possible to make sure the government does not cheat the families separated by the ban of a fair opportunity to apply and receive due consideration, as required by law.
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.