Ruling gives residents protection from travel ban

Jim Lynch, and Jennifer Chambers

Detroit — A federal judge has issued a permanent court order that ensures protections for U.S. residents traveling to and from the United States in the wake of the travel ban enacted by President Donald Trump’s administration.

And although the White House took the same action on Wednesday, by clarifying the executive order does not apply to lawful permanent residents, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts on Friday issued a restraining order the same section of the ban, in response to legal challenges filed by the Arab American Civil Rights League in Dearborn.

The new administration’s executive order called for a 90-day halt on immigration from the predominantly Muslim nations of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Attorneys for the league challenged the “denial of entry into the United States of legal permanent residents and those with valid immigrant visas on the basis...” of the order. The Trump administration has clarified portions of its original executive order in response to criticisms and large-scale protests on its implementation.

In her ruling, Roberts barred the administration from enforcing two sections of the executive order, clearing the way for entry of those plaintiffs, as well as “all other lawful permanent residents of the United States who are similarly situated.”

“...This permanent injunction is the first and only order enjoining the president and the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection from preventing legal permanent residents from returning to the United States,” said plaintiffs’ attorney, Nabih Ayad. “Although there has been a clarification from the White House, it was still unclear and could have been changed at any time.

“... I applaud Judge Roberts on her courage and decisive decision to address the vulnerable sector of the community.”

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday by the league, Roberts was asked to declare the entire emergency immigration order unconstitutional.

Four of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit are lawful permanent residents who are affected by the order.

The other plaintiffs — who are not affected by the order — are an immigrant who was issued a visa to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident, a U.S. citizen whose nine-year-old son was denied a visa to join his family in the United States and the Arab American Civil Rights League, whose members have been adversely affected by the executive order.

Roberts said she will rule on the temporary restraining order request of the remaining plaintiffs.

Robert Sedler, a constitutional law professor at Wayne State University, said the ruling permanently enjoins Trump, Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol from preventing lawful permanent residents of the United States from entering the country from designated nations.

The injunction requires the Trump Administration to comply with its Feb. 1 memorandum clarifying its original Jan. 27 executive order.

“The injunction ensures any green card holder who has been denied admission can get in. That would mean those people abroad who are permanent residents are entitled with the judge’s order to enter the United States,” Sedler said.

The order was necessary, Sedler said, even though the Trump administration had made the move on Wednesday to amend the policy to allow green card holder entry to the United States.

“The lawyer in me says it’s better to have a court decree than to rely on the executive branch acting alone,” Sedler said.

The remaining part of Trump’s order, which bars non-citizens such as refugees from seven countries, will be harder to overturn, Sedler said.

“It’s a form of religious discrimination and that is going to be difficult to prove. You have to show the intent of Trump was to discriminate against Muslim countries,” Sedler said.“All seven countries covered by the order all have a history of terrorism.”

Kary Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, said Roberts’ order puts the force of law behind the White House memo issued on Wednesday.

“It strengthens it. Now there is a growing number of cases around the country on this,” Moss said.

On Friday, Moss said 50 ACLU offices from across the nation filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with federal customs and border patrol offices for information on CBP’s local implementation of the executive order at international airports.

As for the rest of the ban, Moss said many people fall into that category, such as visitors with visas, students with visas business travelers, refugees applications in process. citizens applications in process.

“Tons and tons of people who are affected by this that fall into 20 categories. The full impact can’t be understood,” Moss said.

Roberts has scheduled a hearing at 9 a. m. on Feb. 13 to consider whether to enjoin the United States from applying the executive order against two individual plaintiffs, a Syrian national who was issued a visa on Jan. 22 to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident and a nine-year-old from Yemen who is the son of a U.S. citizen but was denied a visa, court officials said on Friday.

(313) 222-2034