AALDEF joins Korematsu Center amicus brief in Trump travel ban case in Brooklyn federal court

Friday, Feb 17, 2017

New York - AALDEF joined the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality (Korematsu Center), the children of litigants in the Japanese relocation and incarceration cases from World War II, civil rights organizations, and national and New York bar associations of color, in filing an amicus brief in Darweesh and State of New York v. Trump, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. 

The amicus brief supports a legal challenge to the Trump administration's Executive Order 13769 (January 27, 2017), which suspends the U.S. refugee admissions program for 120 days, indefinitely halts the admission of Syrian refugees, and bans immigrant and nonimmigrant entries for at least 90 days for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The petitioners in Darweesh allege that this Executive Order violates the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Immigration and Nationality Act, the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and the Administrative Procedure Act. 

The amicus brief asserts that courts can and should review executive branch actions on immigration. The "plenary power doctrine" justifying deference to the executive branch is based on a string of overtly racist cases decided by the same court that upheld segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson. During World War II, the federal government falsely invoked "national security" to justify the incarceration of Japanese Americans by executive order. Those arguments should have been rejected then, and they should be rejected now--the 9th Circuit and the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia have already done so.

The next court hearing in the Darweesh case is scheduled for February 21, 2017.

Akin Gump is pro bono co-counsel on the amicus brief.

You can read the amicus brief here.

*     *     *
For more information, contact:
Ken Kimerling, Legal Director
212.966.5932 x203

Margaret Fung, Executive Director
212.966.5932 x201


Preliminary results of AALDEF exit poll of more than 7,600 Asian American voters in midterm elections


AALDEF to conduct Asian American Exit Poll and monitor poll sites in 14 states


AALDEF criticizes Trump's intention to end birthright citizenship by executive order


AALDEF stands in solidarity with Pittsburgh and Louisville


Volunteers needed for AALDEF Asian American Exit Poll and to monitor polling places in 2018 elections


AALDEF denounces White House plan to redefine "public charge" for immigrants seeking green cards


Sept. 12: AALDEF legal director Ken Kimerling receives 2018 New York County Lawyers Association Public Service Award


35 Asian American groups and higher ed faculty file amicus brief in support of race-conscious admissions at Harvard


AALDEF statement on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court


AALDEF deplores the Supreme Court's decision upholding the Muslim ban


Korean and Latino workers at Kum Gang San restaurants win enforcement of $2.7 million wage theft judgment


AALDEF opposes Trump administration's politicization of Census 2020 by adding citizenship question


2017 AALDEF exit poll: 2,538 Asian American voters polled in 4 states: VA, NJ, NY, MA


Federal appeals court upholds ruling in AALDEF case that Texas election law violates Voting Rights Act