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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 26, 2017

Yesterday, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a nationwide preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of Section 9(a) of the January 25, 2017 Executive Order on interior enforcement. With this ruling, U.S. District Judge William Orrick has temporarily blocked the Order’s attempt to withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that support federal-only immigration enforcement.  The Tahirih Justice Center, represented by Jamie Gorelick and WilmerHale, filed an amicus brief in the case challenging the Executive Order. Tahirih filed the brief to highlight the serious, negative impact section 9(a) of the Order would have on immigrant survivors of gender-based crimes such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

Layli Miller-Muro, CEO of the Tahirih Justice Center, issued the following statement:

“As advocates for immigrant survivors of violence, we know that this Executive Order has already caused severe harm to communities across the country – victims of violence have stayed in abusive relationships, too afraid to report, and witnesses of crime are scared to testify. When immigrants are deterred from calling the police to report crime or serve as witnesses due to fear of deportation, we are all less safe. In issuing this ruling, the U.S. District Court has recognized the critical importance of community trust in local law enforcement.”

Archi Pyati, Tahirih’s Chief of Policy and Programs, noted “Judge Orrick found that the Executive Order is unconstitutional for a number of reasons. In particular, the President cannot deprive local jurisdictions of critical federal funding in order to pressure or coerce them to take on the task of immigration enforcement under federal law.”

“We hope that this injunction may bring a measure of security to those survivors of violence who need to access emergency services such as medical care or police protection,” said Pyati.

To learn more about the Tahirih Justice Center’s response to the Executive Orders on immigration, please visit Tahirih’s website. Tahirih’s work to elevate the voices of immigrant women and girls has been featured recently by media outlets including The Nation, New York Times, The Intercept, and Boston Globe.

The Tahirih Justice Center is the only national, multi-city organization providing both policy advocacy and leadership and direct, on the ground legal services to immigrant and refugee women and girls fleeing violence. Tahirih will continue to monitor policy shifts that impact women and girls fleeing violence and advocate for the United States to honor its legal obligations to protect those fleeing human rights abuses.

Archi Pyati, Chief of Policy and Programs, or Layli Miller-Muro, Chief Executive Officer, are available for comment on this topic. Please contact rebekahs@tahirih.org to arrange an interview.