Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Lawsuit Argues Trump Immigration Ban Unlawfully Targets U.S. Residents Seeking Citizenship and Immigration Status

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Tens of Thousands of Immigrants Living in U.S. Legally

Civil and immigrant rights groups asked a federal court last night to lift the unconstitutional ban blocking Muslim immigrants lawfully living in the United States from becoming U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and asylees, among other things.

The class action lawsuit challenges provisions of President Trump’s January 27 executive order suspending the issuance of visas and other immigration statuses to nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, all of which are majority Muslim countries.

Immigration attorneys have learned from leaked documents that the order is being applied to immigrants already lawfully residing within the U.S. who have pending applications for asylum, lawful permanent residence, and other immigration benefits, affecting tens of thousands of immigrants residing legally in the U.S.

Based on the new guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, the government has suspended action on all pending immigration applications for individuals from the seven countries identified in the executive order for 90 days.

The lawsuit also argues that the government’s “extreme vetting” of people applying for citizenship and permanent residency under the executive order and an existing program known as the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARRP) violates federal laws and due process protections. The program is designed to delay and deny citizenship and permanent residency to Muslim immigrants and immigrants from Muslim majority countries, despite their eligibility under the law.

The plaintiffs are Abdiqafar Wagafe and Mehdi Ostadhassan, who are practicing Muslims and long-time U.S. residents. Like many seeking naturalization, green cards, visas, or asylum, they have been subjected to the unconstitutional executive order and an unlawful vetting program that bars them from obtaining the citizenship and immigration status they seek.

“This ban seeks to shut me out of the United States simply because of my religion and my nationality, but my life and my future is here,” said Ostadhassan, an engineering professor at the University of North Dakota who has been living in the U.S. since 2009 and has an American wife and son. “This ban goes against everything I have known the United States to stand for. Welcoming immigrants is part of the American tradition. I have experienced this myself." 

Ostadhassan applied for his green card in 2014 and has been left waiting ever since.

“By freezing Muslim immigrants out of the ability to become U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, the president’s unconstitutional ban now takes aim at the very system that has made the United States a pluralistic nation,” said Jennie Pasquarella, immigrants' rights director for the ACLU of California and senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.

“The halt to the processing of applications has caused fear and anxiety to thousands of noncitizens who legally are entitled to benefits. This decision is irrational and illegal,” said Stacy Tolchin, an immigration attorney in Los Angeles who represents many Muslim clients.

“Applying the executive order to residents of the United States defies the plain language of the statute the president purports to rely on,” said Matt Adams, legal director for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “Moreover, any program targeting Muslims violates basic constitutional protections.”

“These xenophobic policies do not make us safer,” said Trina Realmuto, litigation director for the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. “Instead, they undermine American values.”

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys from the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, the national ACLU, the ACLU of Washington, and Perkins Coie LLP. 

The complaint is at:


The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

New York Taxi Workers Stage Hunger Strike to Demand Medallion Debt Relief

"They are an essential industry here in New York City," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "and we need to make sure we're doing right by them."

Julia Conley ·

'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·

Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo