Another Lawsuit Naming President Trump

Dearborn-based civil rights group challenges executive order on immigration with federal suit.

Another Muslim civil rights organization entered the national legal fight today, asking a federal judge in Detroit to overturn President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

The Arab-American Civil Rights League, which is based in Dearborn, filed suit along with six individuals seeking a temporary restraining order and, ultimately, an opinion overturning the executive order, says Nabih Ayad, an attorney for the League. 

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“Donald Trump does not trump the Constitution,” Ayad says. “The Constitution trumps all individuals. It is the supreme law of the land.”

Ayad and several others spoke Tuesday at a news conference outside Detroit’s federal courthouse after filing the suit, which names as defendants the president, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and Acting CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. The case was assigned to Judge Victoria Roberts.

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“We want a firm statement that everyone who is lawfully admitted and permitted to come to this country be allowed to do so immediately,” says Rula Aoun, director of the League. “Until that happens we are going to fight and we are not going to stop until everyone who needs to be here and should be here is here.”

Here’s the lawsuit as filed.

Last week, Trump’s action barred travelers from seven countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the United States for 90 days. It also suspended refugee admissions for 120 days and capped the number  of refugees allowed into the United States in 2017. 

Michigan has been the first U.S. destination for hundreds of refugees from six of the seven countries during the last decade. See data about them here.

“My biggest concern, this involves citizens of this county,” said Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, who attended the news conference. “I think we have a very diverse county. I think we’re excellent because of our diversity. Certainly these things that impact people who live here, their ability to access their families, their ability to travel, is something that I don’t find in the Constitution.”

The League’s suit includes plaintiffs who are U.S. citizens and  lawful permanent residents. One of the plaintiffs, a U.S. resident since 2015, was in Yemen after Trump issued the order and was denied boarding in Egypt on a flight that would return him to the United States, according to the suit. Another plaintiff, who is married to an American citizen, received a visa a week before the executive order was issued and is not able to travel to the United States, according to the court filing.

The National Docket

Dozens of other lawsuits related to the executive order have been filed in federal courts across the country.

Source: Public Access to Court Electronic Records

Many of those suits were related to the detention of people at airports after Friday’s executive order. Some of them were withdrawn or dismissed after a federal judge in Brooklyn ordered a temporary restraining order allowing the detainees to be released. Here’s that order.

Other actions have had included:

In Virginia, the Council on Islamic-American Relations, based in Washington, D.C., filed a federal suit on Monday on behalf of 27 people, including some Michigan residents. That suit makes First Amendment claims, saying Trump’s order creates “a denominational preference against Islam as a religion.” 

Also in Virginia, a judge ordered that travelers who were detained be allowed to consult with attorneys. Here’s that order.

In Massachusetts, a judge ruled travelers there could not be deported or held in federal detention.

In Washington, state officials filed a lawsuit naming President Trump, the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and Acting Secretary of State Tom Shannon. Here’s that lawsuit.

In California, an attorney in the Bay Area challenged Trump’s order “on behalf of the People of the State of California and United States.” Andrew Shalaby, of Albany, Calif., argues in his lawsuit, filed Saturday, that Trump’s order violates the “separation of powers” doctrine and violates the First Amendment’s guarantee against discrimination on the basis of religion. Here’s that lawsuit.




  • Sandra Svoboda
    Recovering Bankruptcy Reporter/Blogger looking forward to chronicling regional revitalization on-air, digitally and through community engagement.