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Protesters march in Washington, D.C. on January 29, 2017. (Photo: Susan Melkisethian/cc/flickr)

Protesters march in Washington, D.C. on January 29, 2017. (Photo: Susan Melkisethian/cc/flickr)

In One Week, More Than 50 Suits Launched Against Travel Ban

Legal actions 'run the gamut,' but underscore the scope of the outrage

Lauren McCauley

Underscoring the scope of the outrage and number of lives impacted by President Donald Trump's recent travel ban, more than 50 lawsuits have been filed in the one week since the United States barred immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The Hill, which reported the updated tally on Friday, noted that "[r]eligious groups, state attorneys general, residents, and visitors to the United States" have all launched legal action.

From a class action suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of immigrants legally residing in the U.S. to cases challenging the detention of specific individuals to charges of unconstitutionality levied by state attorneys general, the lawsuits "run the gamut," the outlet reported.

As Newsweek's Leah McGrath Goodman similarly reported on Thursday, dozens of the suits "contend that customs officials are subjecting refugees, immigrants, and travelers...to flagrant religious and racial discrimination. They also claim that customs officials refuse to provide information in a timely fashion on the numbers and identities of detainees being held, and are aggressively blocking detainees' access to legal advice."

In another brief (pdf) filed late Wednesday, the Commonwealth of Virginia specifically asks Trump, customs, and local officials "to demonstrate why they should not be held in contempt after blocking lawyers' access to legal permanent residents at Dulles International Airport, against a federal court order," McGrath Goodman reports.

The Hill continues:

Twenty cases have been filed in the Eastern District of New York, which includes John F. Kennedy International Airport, where dozens of immigrants were detained. Seven cases have been filed in the Central District of California, which covers Los Angeles. Six suits are pending in the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. 

Multiple suits have also been filed in Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington, according to a database being maintained by the University of Michigan Law School's Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse.

An attorney with the Department of Justice admitted Friday that as many as 100,000 visas have been revoked since the executive order was signed last week, a figure that astounded those representing some of the victims of the ban.

Indeed, The Hill notes more lawsuits "are likely in the coming days and weeks," as 16 Democratic attorneys general announced this week they "would examine legal options."


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