MEDIA ALERT: Biden Admin Defending Trump Muslim Ban Policy in SF Court

San Jose Resident, Muslim and African Bans Victim to Have Day in Court

What: On Thursday, Biden administration officials will appear in federal court to discuss lawsuits filed by people who were wrongfully denied visas under Trump’s Muslim and African Bans, and who are still separated from loved ones. Last summer, a federal judge ruled against the government and ordered the Biden administration to work with the victims to create a process to have their stalled or rejected visa applications reconsidered without starting from scratch. Since then, the government has failed to create a fair, effective and transparent process. Thursday’s hearing will serve as a status update on the case, including protracted settlement discussions and plaintiffs’ request for class certification to ensure the State Department redresses harms for all impacted families and community members, particularly given the administration’s refusal to settle thus far. 

The bans affected more than 41,000 people who otherwise would have been approved for a visa. While many people have since received their visa, thousands were never given that chance and have subsequently been denied family reunification, jobs, and educational opportunities. At the hearing, plaintiffs for Emami v. Mayorkas will be represented by Lotfi Legal, and plaintiffs for Pars Equality Center v. Blinken will be represented by the Asian Law Caucus.

When: Thursday, May 25. Please plan to arrive by 9:30 a.m. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m.

Where: Courtroom 11, 19th Floor, Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102

Media Availability: 

  • Bamshad Azizi, a San Jose, CA resident whose parents in Iran were wrongfully denied visas under the Biden administration. Azizi’s parents have been trying to secure visas so that his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer, and his father, who is also dealing with illness and has undergone procedures, can visit him and his sister in the U.S.
  • Naomi Tsu, the interim Legal Director of Muslim Advocates
  • Shabnam Lotfi of Lotfi Legal will be arguing for the Emami plaintiffs 
  • Hammad Alam, staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus who will be arguing for the Pars plaintiffs
  • Subha Varadarajan, Campaigns Manager, National Immigration Law Center

They will be at the courthouse and available for interviews before and after the hearing. Muslim Advocates Media Relations Officer Nora Olabi will also be on-site to handle media requests. Please email [email protected] or call (832) 419-2515 for any media inquiries.  


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.  

Asian Law Caucus (ALC) was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization focusing on the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Recognizing that social, economic, political, and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society. 

Lotfi Legal LLC is a small law firm taking on huge challenges. We are a full-service, women-owned immigration law firm serving clients around the world and fighting for the rights of immigrants and their families. 

Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is the nation’s leading organization exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income. 

Perkins Coie is a leading international law firm that is known for providing high-value, strategic solutions and extraordinary client service on matters vital to our clients’ success. With more than 1,200 lawyers in offices across the United States and Asia, we provide a full array of corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property, and regulatory legal advice to a broad range of clients, including many of the world’s most innovative companies and industry leaders as well as public and not-for-profit organizations. 

The Iranian American Bar Association (“IABA”) seeks to (1) educate the Iranian-American community in the United States and the community at large about legal issues of interest, and to help ensure both are fully and accurately informed on legal matters of concern to the Iranian-American community; (2) defend and advance the legal rights of the Iranian-American community and other minority communities in the United States; and (3) foster and promote the achievements of Iranian-American lawyers and other legal professionals. IABA has over 1500 members, and has chapters based out of the District of Columbia, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Northern California, Orange County, Phoenix, San Diego, and the South East. 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, California (CAIR-CA) is a chapter of the nation’s largest American Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. CAIR-CA’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.