The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Saturday sued the Trump administration for signing an executive order banning refugee entry.
The suit was filed on behalf of Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq, two men from Iraq who were detained and threatened with deportation shortly after arriving at New York’s Kennedy International Airport on Friday, hours after Trump’s executive order was signed, reports The Hill.
“President Trump’s war on equality is already taking a terrible human toll,” ACLU president Omar Jadwat said in a statement. “This ban cannot be allowed to continue.”
Darweesh reportedly risked his life, working as an interpreter, engineer and contractor for the U.S. government in Iraq from about 2003 to 2013.
The lawyers representing the two detained Iraqis filed a writ of habeas corpus early Saturday in New York demanding their clients be released, and filed a motion for class certification so that they might represent all refugees and immigrants who say they are being unlawfully detained.
Trump’s order is suspending all refugee entry for 120 days, putting an undetermined number of refugees who were on airplanes when it was signed in legal limbo.
During his campaign, he argued that terrorists are taking advantage of the U.S. refugee resettlement program to enter the country and called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.
“We’ve taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them,” Trump said. “They can say they vet them. They didn’t vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don’t know anything about them and you have no papers?”
However, exceptions can be made according to the “national interest,” which establishes a policy of prioritizing Christian refugees and other refugees of a minority religion in their country over Muslims.
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