Federal Judge Blocks Trump Immigration Order

From The Verge:

The federal court for the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency stay halting President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to the US from seven majority-Muslim countries tonight, following widespread protests at airports around the country.

The court ruled on a habeas corpus petition filed by the ACLU on behalf of Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, who were denied entry to the US upon landing at JFK airport in New York City and detained indefinitely by Customs and Border Patrol. Darweesh spent a decade working for the United States military in Iraq as an interpreter and engineer and had been granted an entry visa after background checks; Alshawi had been granted a visa in order to join his wife and son who are already permanent residents of the US after their similar service with the US military.

The court specifically ruled on Darweesh and Alshawi’s petition; other similarly-situated people being detained and those in transit are covered by the ruling, which is only temporary. But the point of a stay is to preserve the status quo while a permanent ruling is made — something the judge specifically reminded the lawyers for the goverment in the courtroom. And as the tweet from the National Immigration Law Center’s Jackie Vimo indicates above, the judge feels there is a likelihood of success on the merits for the case moving forward.

A Yazidi Refugee, Stranded at the Airport by Trump

This won’t be the only heartbreaking story we hear about after Trump’s latest monstrous executive order:

At 10:05 on Friday morning, a young Iraqi couple named Khalas and Nada were trading panicked texts. Would Nada escape Iraq before President Trump’s executive order barring refugees took effect, or would Trump’s pen-stroke bring all their plans to ruin?

The day before was their second anniversary, but they couldn’t celebrate together: Khalas lives in Washington, D.C., and Nada in Sinjar, in the north of Iraq. Khalas, a former interpreter for the U.S. Army, was granted a Special Immigrant Visa for his service to America. He came last July, thinking that Nada would arrive shortly thereafter.

They are also Yazidis, members of a pre-Islamic religion whose adherents have been severely persecuted in recent years, particularly by the Islamic State.

Khalas had been to the U.S. four years earlier as part of a troupe of students from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (A.U.I.S.), performing Shakespeare throughout the country. Khalas played Brutus in “Julius Caesar.” He would have been within his rights to claim asylum on that first trip, but he was still full of hope for the future in Iraq.

One of ten siblings, he grew up on a farm outside the Yazidi village of Khanasor, six miles from the Syrian border. His family had a small orchard, some sheep, and cows. They learned English by reading books and mastering vocabulary cards.

When the Americans invaded, he realized his language skills were needed. At eighteen, he became one of the youngest interpreters the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment ever had. At the time, there wasn’t a lethal stigma surrounding such work, especially within the Yazidi community. “Yazidis didn’t look at Americans as occupiers,” he told me. “If you were an interpreter, people would respect you more.”

Green card holders included in Trump ban -Homeland Security

Not just refugees:

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – People holding so-called green cards, making them legal permanent U.S. residents, are included in President Donald Trump’s executive action temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, a Department of Homeland security spokeswoman said on Saturday.

“It will bar green card holders,” Gillian Christensen, acting Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman, said in an email.