Iraqis file lawsuit after being detained in NY due to travel ban

Neil Gorsuch Donald Trump

Neil Gorsuch Donald TrumpMore

Lawyers for two Iraqis who had been granted visas to enter the U.S. have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and the United States government after they were detained when they arrived in New York Friday.

The two Iraqi immigrants have been identified as Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, Iraqis with ties to USA operations overseas. Mr Alshawi, an Iraqi citizen holding a valid visa who was on his way to Texas to be reunited with his wife and son, was detained by authorities at John F. Kennedy Airport in NY.

The other, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, had been granted a Follow to Join Visa.

A federal judge in Brooklyn is allowing detained immigrants to stay in the USA following President Trump's order blacklisting refugees from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The countries which have majority Muslim populations and will be affected by the 90-day moratorium on travel to the USA include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.

Protests broke out at several USA airports where travellers were being held, including a gathering of several hundred people outside San Francisco's main airport and a raucous demonstration of at least 2,000 people at New York's Kennedy International Airport. Afghan News Agency on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook. Attorneys for the two men were barred from meeting with their clients.

"We don't want them here", Trump said. They had been given refugee status because of the family's association with the USA military, the suit says. (In Iraq, the Alshawi's family were victims of an attempted kidnapping and a vehicle bombing because Alshawi's wife worked for a US contractor.) On Friday, Alshawi boarded a flight to New York's JFK airport.

Immigration advocates say at least one refugee family is detained at San Francisco International Airport, but it is not clear how many refugees are now detained at airports nationwide.

Darweesh shared with reporters that despite everything, he was happy to be in America, even explaining how he personally was targeted twice during his time working as an interpreter, engineer and contractor for the USA government while in Iraq.

The lawsuit on behalf of Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, filed in the Eastern District of NY in Brooklyn by several organizations, seeks an injunction barring the detention of any migrant detained because of Trump's executive order and the release of any already detained.

Lawyers petitioned a federal court early Saturday to let them go.

The complaints were filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, the National Immigration Law Center, Yale Law School's Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization and the firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. And Trump's order is a slap in the face to the millions of Americans who uphold our best traditions of welcoming the stranger seeking refuge.

The equal-protection claim was based on Mr Trump's rather capricious choice of countries in his executive order.

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