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

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Lawyers for two Iraqis with ties to the US military who had been granted visas to enter the United States have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and the US government after they were detained when they arrived in New York Friday. The lawsuit could represent the first legal challenge to Trump’s controversial executive order, which indefinitely suspends admissions for Syrian refugees and limits the flow of other refugees into the United States by instituting what the President has called “extreme vetting” of immigrants.

Trump’s order also bars Iraqi citizens, as well as people from six other Muslim-majority nations, from entering the US for 90 days, and suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated “only for nationals of countries for whom” members of Trump’s Cabinet deem can be properly vetted. According to court papers, both men legally were allowed to come into the US but were detained in accordance with Trump’s move to ban travel from several Muslim-majority nations.

The lawyers for the two men called for a hearing because they maintain the detention of people with valid visas is illegal. They were still at John F. Kennedy International Airport as of late Saturday morning, one of the lawyers told CNN.
“Because the executive order is unlawful as applied to petitioners, their continued detention based solely on the executive order violates their Fifth Amendment procedural and substantive due process rights,” the lawyers argue in court papers.
The two Iraqi men named as plaintiffs in the suit are Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who worked as an interpreter for the US during the Iraq War, and Haider Sameer Abdulkaleq Alshawi.

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