In the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, 13 cities around the country have taken legal action against the administration.
The executive order, which has been called a ‘Muslim ban,’ suspends the country’s refugee program for 120 days, with Syrian refugees barred from entering the country indefinitely. It also bars all immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
But the immigration suspension also led to the detention and barring of legitimate visa holders from the 7 Muslim countries. The Trump administration has vehemently denied accusations that the executive order targets Muslims, refusing to call it a ban. Below are some of the cities that filed lawsuits as of January 31.
The first lawsuit is from Dr. Amer al-Homssi, a 24-year-old medical resident at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has been left stranded in Dubai after trying to take a flight to Chicago on January 29. He is a Syrian citizen living as a permanent resident in the U.A.E., where U.S. pre-clearance officials detained him and cancelled his J-1 U.S. visa.
Should he fail to return to the United States for his medical residency, the U.A.E. would revoke his permanent residency status, forcing him to return to war-torn Syria, a country that he has never lived in nor visited since he was 17. U.S.
Officials told him to wait out the 90-day suspension period and follow up with the U.S. Embassy in Dubai.
The District Court for the Western District of Washington saw a class action lawsuit filed by multiple immigrant rights’ groups. The lawsuit combines the cases of several U.S. citizens and permanent residents in Washington State who had gone through the rigorous application and screening process to petition visas for their family members, many of whom are fleeing war-torn communities in the Middle East
According to court papers, “Since issuance of the executive order, immigrants have been unjustly blocked from entering the United States at airports all across the country. Now federal government officials are blocking more family members before they even board their planes and suspending or revoking all other visa applications.”
Labeeb Ibrahim Issa’s lawyers filed a writ of habeas corpus in Dallas after he was reportedly “held against his will — in extreme pain in his wheelchair” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Issa had worked for the U.S. military as a driver in Iraq, also performing general maintenance on army vehicles. In 2016, he was involved in a serious car accident in Iraq after being targeted for his employment with the military. Recognizing this threat, the U.S. government granted him a special immigrant visa.
“Mr. Issa landed in Dallas hoping to find safety and freedom — perhaps only a small token of thanks from our country in exchange for his extreme sacrifice for our country in its war efforts in his home country” court papers said. Instead, he was subjected to terrible treatment.
If you or a loved has been affected by this immigration ban, don’t hesitate to get legal advice or representation from immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call us at (512) 215.5225 to schedule a consultation.