The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Saturday sued the Trump administration on behalf of two men who were detained at an airport while traveling back to the U.S. because of President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE's immigration crackdown.
The suit was filed on behalf of Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq, two men from Iraq who were detained and threatened with deportation shortly after arriving at New York’s Kennedy International Airport on Friday, hours after Trump's executive order was signed.
“President Trump's war on equality is already taking a terrible human toll,” ACLU president Omar Jadwat said in a statement. “This ban cannot be allowed to continue.”
Darweesh worked as an interpreter, engineer and contractor for the U.S. government in Iraq from about 2003 to 2013, according to the complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York. His life was in danger in Iraq because of his ties to the U.S., the ACLU said.
Alshawi was traveling to Houston, Texas, to join his wife and child, who are both permanent legal residents of the U.S.
Trump signed an executive order Friday barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa from entering the U.S. Iraq was among that list of countries.
The order also created a 120-day moratorium on the country’s refugee resettlement program, as the Trump administration looks to clamp down on the program’s vetting process for refugees.
Trump has long argued that terrorists are taking advantage of the U.S. refugee resettlement program to enter the country, despite a lack of supporting evidence. As a presidential candidate, he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and proposed a Muslim registry.