Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Suit Challenges Syrian Refugee Ban In Trump Executive Order; Hawaii Suit Moves Ahead

The portion of President Trump's travel ban Executive Order which suspends entry of refugees from Syria into the United States was challenged in a lawsuit filed on Monday in a Wisconsin federal district court by a Sunni Muslim who was granted asylum status because of torture and religious persecution he had
suffered in Syria.  The complaint (full text) in Doe v. Trump, (WD WI, filed 2/13/2017), says that the ban prevents plaintiff from bringing his wife and 3-year old daughter to the U.S. from Syria under a derivative asylum petition which is being processed by the government. The Executive Order prevents USCIS from adjudicating the petition and the State Department from issuing visas to his family.  It also contends that the nationwide temporary restraining order issued by a Washington federal district court is not broad enough to cover this situation because the TRO applies only to enforcement at "United States borders and ports of entry." This new suit alleges that the Executive Order violates the Establishment Clause, the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses and various statutory provisions. WRN News reports on the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Hawaii's Attorney General announced yesterday that a federal district judge has partially lifted a stay he imposed last week on Hawaii's suit against the Executive Order. This allows an Hawaii resident to be added as a plaintiff.  The court also allowed Hawaii to file an amended complaint (full text) adding a challenge under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. KHON News reports on these developments.