Coalition, #NoBanJFK Legal Project Applauds Judicial Ruling Suspending President Trump’s Refugee and Muslim Ban, Pledges to Continue Legal Efforts to Support Immigrants and Refugees

February 5th, 2017

Late last Friday, Washington federal judge James Robart issued a ruling suspending President Trump’s Executive Order that had halted the country’s refugee program and banned nearly all travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. On early Sunday morning, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Robart’s ruling, and the nationwide lift of the ban remains in place, providing immediate relief to all those affected, even while the Trump Administration appeals the decision.

Judge Robart’s ruling does the following:

  • Lifts the ban on almost all immigrant and nonimmigrant entry from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen
  • Reinstates the refugee resettlement program, and allows in refugees already scrutinized by at least four Federal agencies and officially approved for entry
  • Allows for the reinstatement of visas cancelled as a result of the January 27th executive order, allowing the resumption of travel

Last Saturday, the New York Immigration Coalition, with partners including Catholic Charities, Sanctuary for Families, Urban Justice Center, Make the Road New York, Cleary Gottlieb LLP, Shearman & Sterling LLP, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and more began coordinating efforts at JFK Airport to support travelers detained due to President Trump’s executive orders. The effort, titled #NoBanJFK, has already assisted over 220 individuals and families from more than 20 countries, with the support of over a thousand volunteers, including attorneys from 125 agencies, interpreters, and professionals from information technology, communications, and social services sectors.

The following is a statement from Steven Choi, NYIC executive director:

“We applaud Judge Robart’s ruling, which has lifted President Trump’s illegal executive order that effectively banned Muslims from seven nations from traveling to America and halted our venerable refugee resettlement program. These executive orders were discriminatory and did nothing to keep the United States safe - and the Trump Administration’s incompetent and clueless implementation thrust our nation into chaos.

“In fact, these executive orders have hurt our country, and New York. Trump’s “backdoor Muslim ban” on travel meant that parents were separated from their children, students were unable to finish their studies, and businesses were deprived of their workers. The President’s refugee ban also demeaned our rich history of welcoming refugees. New York has benefited tremendously from the energy and resilience of refugees, who have become family members, valued workers, and dynamic business owners.

“Our work is far from over. While the Administration challenges this ruling i

n court, we will continue to fight to permanently lift these executive orders for the sake of our communities. On the ground at JFK, NYIC is committed to working with our legal partners to ensure that Customs and Border Patrol actually complies with this ruling, and we will continue to support those in need. We will also push to overturn other executive orders that ramp up enforcement, deportations and expand the southern border wall.

“At the end of the day, Judge Robart’s ruling reinforces the fact that no American is above the law - not even the President. By fighting back against these unlawful executive orders, we seek to restore America’s basic values of dignity, liberty and justice and our shared commitment to civil liberties and Constitutional rights.”


The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees. The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.