Statement of Attorney Cyrus Mehri

NHCPress Release

February 9, 2017


Statement of Iranian-American Civil Rights Attorney Cyrus Mehri on Federal Lawsuit against Trump Travel Ban EO: Our Community Will Emerge Stronger

Washington, DC— Several prominent Iranian-American organizations have filed a joint action in federal court to stop the Trump Administration’s Executive Order banning nationals from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S.  The lawsuit was filed by Iranian-American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, DC-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer.

Mehri released the following statement:

“In order to protect and uphold the Iranian-American community, we have filed a complaint on behalf of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, as well as individuals who have suffered under the Executive Order.

“These organizations and individuals should be commended for their courage and steadfast determination to uphold the best aspects of the Iranian-American community and the principles of the United States of America, a nation they have chosen as their homeland.

“According to the Cato Institute, there was not a single case of an American being killed in a terrorist attack in this country by a person born in Iran — or any of the other six countries specified in the Executive Order. Not the tragic events of 9/11, the Boston Marathon, the Orlando nightclub or San Bernardino, where Iranian Americans were among the victims and first responders. Yet in totally irrational fashion, the Iranian-American community has been singled out for discriminatory treatment with the EO. Prejudice has prevailed over rational analysis. Fear has predominated over facts.

“Fortunately, facts matter in the court of law. Due to the tireless energy of our legal team and the dedication of our clients, we have put together a formidable challenge to the Executive Order. We will prevail.

“This unlawful and arbitrary Executive Order has galvanized the Iranian-American community in unprecedented fashion. From this crisis, we will emerge stronger and more united. We will set a good example for our children by standing up thoughtfully and courageously for our community.

In addition to thanking our friends at the Lawyers Committee and APKS, I want to deeply thank the volunteer lawyers around the country at IABA, attorney Shayan Modarres, Pam Coukos of Working Ideal, and attorneys at my firm Joanna Wasik, Amelia Friedman, and retired federal judge U.W.Clemon for their tireless efforts on this matter.

Mehri was featured in a U.S. Department of State publication, Faces of Successful Iranian Americans, in the article, “Cyrus Mehri: A Lawyer with a Conscience.”

To learn more or to sign up to receive email updates about the case, visit To provide information in support of the lawsuit, email

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