In Amiri v. Kelly, (ED MI, Jan. 30, 2018), a Michigan federal district court dismissed claims challenging denial of a visa to a British national and placement of him and his wife (a permanent U.S. resident who is an Iranian national and a British citizen) on a terrorist watch list.  Plaintiffs claim that the data bases used by the government in making these decisions contain unsubstantiated information based on plaintiffs’ imputed Muslim religious beliefs.  In rejecting plaintiffs’ 1st Amendment challenge, the court said in part:Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for a violation of the establishment clause of the first amendment, as they have identified no government action with a non-secular purpose that has a principal effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, or that results in excessive government entanglement with religion….. Plaintiffs also fail to state a claim under the free exercise clause. They do not allege that they have been compelled to engage in a practice that violates their religious convictions, refrain from doing an act required by their religious convictions, or affirm or deny a belief contrary to their religious convictions. Indeed, Plaintiffs do not claim to be Muslim, but rather accuse Defendants of presuming they are Muslim…. Plaintiffs also fail to state an equal protection claim as they fail to allege that they have been treated differently than similarly situated individuals of a different nationality….  Nor do they allege that they are treated differently based on their religion, as they do not claim to be Muslim.



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