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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/3/2017

Contact: Lauren DiTullio

617-778-1944

Boston Bar Association Submits Affidavit in Support of Constitutional Scrutiny of Executive Order on Immigration

The Boston Bar Association (BBA) today submitted an affidavit calling for constitutional scrutiny of the presidential Executive Order issued last Friday titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States."  

The affidavit – in connection with Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni & Arghavan Louhghalam v. Donald Trump et al. – was filed following a vote of the BBA Council, the association’s governing body of 34 elected and appointed members. The Council is composed of attorneys from firms of all sizes, in-house counsel, government agencies, legal services organizations, and academic institutions.

“The Executive Order titled ‘Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,’ which specifically targets inhabitants of seven different countries for disparate treatment, runs afoul of not only federal law (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(13)(C)) but also both the Due Process Clause, which was originally written into our Bill of Rights, and the Equal Protection Clause, which was granted under the 14th Amendment,” the affidavit states.

The plaintiffs are UMass Dartmouth professors, who are Iranian nationals and legal permanent residents of the United States, The two faculty members had been detained at Logan Airport Saturday evening until the ACLU intervened and got a temporary restraining order.

“The BBA has a long history of strong opposition to proposals which would use national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other integral individual traits as the basis for discrimination in any form,” said BBA President Carol A. Starkey. “This practice speaks to the heart of who we are as an organization of lawyers - to preserve access to justice for all of us – not just a few of us.  Federal immigration policy should be no exception, especially given the extensive background and security checks already in place for all immigrants.”

The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large and promote diversity and inclusion.