January 31, 2017
During the chaotic implementation of President Trump’s travel ban – enacted by Executive Order on Friday night – seven immigrants from Syria and Iran, holding valid visas, were detained at Philadelphia International Airport and ultimately deported, despite the various stays and injunctions issued by Federal Judges. Among the deported immigrants were six members of the Assali family, whose Allentown-based family members spent hours waiting for them at PHL, only to be told they had been put on a flight back to Damascus.
“There is a history of the U.S. government acknowledging mistakes and errors after they have removed people and assisted in their return,” Hohenstein said. “When it hasn’t done its job right, they’re willing to fix it. That’s what we’re asking them to do here.”
On Tuesday, the attorneys filed a federal lawsuit alleging that “the Trump administration executive order violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by preferring one religion over another, and the equal protection guarantee of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, among other claims.”
The lawsuit requests that the seven be admitted to the U.S. without delay, and that the judge issue a temporary restraining order preventing CBP or other federal employees from interfering with the immigrants’ return to the U.S.
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