The Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York on Saturday granted an emergency stay halting deportations under President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to the US from seven majority-Muslim countries.
“It is appropriate and just that, pending completion of a hearing before the Court on the merits of the Petition, that the Respondents be enjoined and restrained from the commission of further acts and misconduct in violation of the Constitution as described in the Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal,” U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly observed.
The stay was granted on petitions filed by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other legal organizations, on behalf of two Iraqis detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. The habeas corpus petitions had challenged the temporary bar announced by the Trump Administration on Friday, banning entry of refugees from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen due to terrorism concerns. The executive order seeks “extreme vetting” procedures for those it did allow to enter the U.S. In signing the order, Trump said he pledged to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.”
The ACLU’s briefing reportedly termed the ban a part of a “widespread pattern applied to many refugees and arriving aliens” in the wake of Trump's executive order.
Granting the stay, the Court observed that the Petitioners have a “…strong likelihood of success in establishing that the removal of the petitioner and others similarly situated violates their rights to Due Process and Equal Protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution…”
It was of the view that there existed “imminent danger”, and that in the absence of such stay, “there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa- holders, and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017 Executive Order.”
“ENJOINED AND RESTRAINED from, in any manner or by any means, removing individuals with refugee applications approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the U.S. Refugee Admission Program, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and other individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen legally authorized to enter the United States,” the Court further ordered.
Read the order here.