Late in the evening on Saturday January 28, 2017, Federal District Judge Ann Donnelly issued a nation-wide temporary injunction prohibiting the removal of persons from the United States based on Donald Trump’s Executive Order issued just 24 hours earlier. This case was brought in the name of Hameed Darweesh. Mr. Darweesh is an Iraqi translator who assisted the U.S. military in Iraq for ten years. He was issued a Special Immigrant Visa to the United States, and was in transit when the Executive Order was issued. He was arrested and detailed upon his arrival in the United States based on the Executive Order. Judge Donnelly ruled that there was a strong likelihood that the detention of Mr. Darwheesh violated his rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Judge Donnelly’s action was followed by orders from other federal judges in Massachusetts, Virginia, and the state of Washington.
This injunction is limited to persons already in the United States or in transit, but it is an important first step in putting a halt to the new administration’s unconscionable Muslim ban.
This victory would be impossible without the selfless response of civil rights and immigration lawyers throughout the United States, who rushed to airports wherever victims of the Trump order were being detained. Immigration lawyers have been playing a crucial role in filing lawsuits, representing detained persons, and ensuring enforcement of the court orders. It has been reported that 3,000 attorneys volunteered literally within minutes of calls for their assistance at U.S. airports.
In other developments, demonstrations and marches protesting the Muslim ban grew quickly throughout the United States at airports and elsewhere. In the face of the storm of protest, administration officials appeared to backtrack slightly on the breadth of the Executive Order, suggesting the order may not apply to green card holders and dual citizens. These officials have given contradictory signals, often in the same interview. We strongly advise green card holders and dual citizens, who are also citizens of the seven banned countries, not to leave the United States if you are in the United States. We also advise Canadian dual citizens attempting to enter the US from Canada to enter through airport pre-clearance, to avoid the risk of detention or removal at a U.S. airport.