Network of nonprofit immigration legal services lauds court stays on travel ban and refugee suspension

Mar 16, 2017

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – The Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., or CLINIC, applauds the orders by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii and U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland to block implementation of the latest Trump administration travel and refugee policies.

“As both judges said, the March 6 executive order is clearly a religion-based test and it should be stopped,” said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of CLINIC. “The language of this order may differ somewhat from the earlier version -- which was also blocked by several federal courts -- but it is no improvement on the core problem with the ban.”

The orders were to take effect March 16. The stay by Judge Watson in Hawaii blocked their implementation nationwide. In addition to Hawaii and Maryland, legal challenges are pending in several other states.

Atkinson continued: “In the United States we do not base our laws about who may come here to visit, work or study, let alone who may immigrate, on religious beliefs. There is too much evidence that animus toward Muslims is at the heart of both versions of these travel bans.”

“We stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters, who would be affected disproportionately by the ban on travel from six predominantly Muslim countries,” she said.

CLINIC also wholeheartedly supports challenges to the temporary ban on refugee admissions and the administration’s decision to slash the number of refugees who will be accepted by the United States this year from 110,000 to 50,000. By reducing the number of refugees the U.S. will accept, 60,000 vulnerable people -- who are already well on their way through the extensive United Nations and U.S. vetting processes -- will be forced to continue to live in dangerous situations.

“The United States is better than this,” Atkinson said. “The federal judges are correct to put a stop to such misguided policies.”