On Saturday night, a federal judge in Brooklyn temporarily halted sections of President Donald Trump’s oppressive and xenophobic executive order that bans Syrian refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. This lawsuit is the first challenge to any executive order Trump has signed since being inaugurated.
According to the Huffington Post, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other human rights organizations, filed an action in federal court Saturday morning on behalf of two Iraqi nationals who were detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, citing that Trump’s ban is unconstitutional. They requested a nationwide injunction to prevent its implementation against travelers who may be affected by the order.
And U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York ruled in their favor and issued an emergency stay.
“The petitioners have a strong likelihood of success in establishing that the removal of the petitioners and others similarly situated violates the rights to Due Process and Equal Protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” Donnelly wrote in her order.
“There is imminent danger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017, Executive Order,” she continued.
The ACLU praised the ruling.
“Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country,” said ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero. “Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.”
The court’s ruling came after immigration lawyers at the ACLU, other groups and protesters congregated in airports across the country to help individuals who arrived in the states with valid immigrant visas and “found themselves in legal limbo,” CNN wrote.
Donnelly wasn’t the only judge who ruled against Trump’s ban. Courts in Virginia, Washington State and Massachusetts have struck down parts of the law as well.
According to Bloomberg News, the Department of Homeland Security, which runs the Customs and Border Protection agency, said in a statement Sunday that it would follow judicial orders. Yet, the White House maintained on Sunday morning that this ruling does not undermine the president’s executive order. And despite the utter chaos happening at airports across the nation, the President was in utter denial about the efficacy of his own order.
“It’s not a Muslim ban,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office. “We were totally prepared. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over. It’s working out very nicely.”
As we previously reported, on Friday, President Trump signed an executive order indefinitely banning Syrian refugees and temporarily suspending Muslims from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The executive order suspends the entry of refugees into the United States for 120 days and directs officials to determine additional screening ”to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States.”
Ironically, Trump’s new ban doesn’t include majority-Muslim countries Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which as Bloomberg pointed out are countries that he has done business with in the past, including golf courses in the United Arab Emirates and two luxury towers operating in Turkey.
This is a developing story. We will provide updates as they become available.