President Trump’s executive order instigating a temporary ban on incoming refugees from “red-flag” nations has netted it’s first lawsuit. The order was signed Friday night and imposes a 120-day ban on refugees from Syria and several other nations with ties to terrorism, among other restrictions.
The law went into effect immediately, leaving refugees already on flights Friday evening in a state of legal limbo.
The New York Times has reported that on Saturday two Iraqi refugees were detained at Kennedy Airport in New York City when their flight landed after the executive order had been signed. Lawyers for the Iraqi nationals were immediately obtained and filed a a writ of habeas corpus to have their clients released, at the same time asking for the right to represent all detained refugees in the district of New York from this point forward.
The detentions prompted legal challenges as lawyers representing two Iraqis held at Kennedy Airport filed a writ of habeas corpus early Saturday in the Eastern District of New York seeking to have their clients released. At the same time, they filed a motion for class certification, in an effort to represent all refugees and immigrants who they said were being unlawfully detained at ports of entry.
The detention does not bode well for other families who have already made travel arrangements. It remains to be seen if this move by the Trump administration will result in fewer refugee applications or only prompt a bureaucratic legal nightmare.