International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump (U.S. Supreme Court, 2017)

Civil Liberties
Civil Liberties

At issue in this case is President Trump’s second executive order on refugees which, among other things, temporarily banned travel from six majority-Muslim countries and suspended refugee resettlement in the United States for a period of 120 days. This brief, which was signed by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Women of Reform Judaism, urges the U.S. Supreme Court to block the executive order from going into effect. The brief points to three historical examples when the U.S. turned its back on immigrants and refugees and later apologized, including the tragedy of the USS St. Louis, in which Jews fleeing Nazi Germany were denied entry into the U.S. and sent back to Europe, where many perished in the Holocaust; the “Chinese Exclusion” Act that barred thousands of Chinese laborers from coming to America in the 1800s; and the internment of the Japanese during World War II. It traces America’s history as a nation dedicated to ideals of equality, liberty and justice, and warns against repeating the shameful times in our past when America has turned against those ideals.