International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, No. 17-2231 (4th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of a preliminary injunction against enforcement of Proclamation No. 9645, Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats. The Proclamation succeeded President Trump's executive orders and indefinitely suspended the entry of some or all immigrants and nonimmigrants from eight countries. Determining that plaintiffs' claims were justiciable, the court held that plaintiffs have met their high burden of demonstrating that the Proclamation's purported purpose was not "bona fide" under Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753, 770 (1972). Next, the court examined official statements from President Trump and other executive branch officials, along with the Proclamation itself, and held that the Proclamation failed to demonstrate a primarily secular purpose. Rather, the Proclamation continued to exhibit a primarily religious anti-Muslim objective. Therefore, the court held that plaintiffs have demonstrated that they will likely succeed on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim. Furthermore, the likelihood of irreparable harm, the balance of equities, and the public interest all favored granting injunctive relief.