Immigration Law

Wisconsin federal judge issues injunction against revised travel ban for family of Syrian refugee

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A Wisconsin federal judge has dealt a setback to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.

Reuters reported that U.S. District Judge William Conley of Madison, on Friday, issued a temporary restraining order that prevents the travel ban from being used to keep out the wife and child of a Syrian refugee who already has been granted asylum in the United States. The man, whose identity was withheld because his wife and child are still living in war-torn Aleppo, had arrived in the United States in 2014 to “escape near-certain death.” His wife and child had been cleared by the vetting process and were due for final processing, only to find that their applications had been put on hold by Trump’s original travel ban.

According to Reuters, this lawsuit was the first one to challenge Trump’s revised travel ban. The original order, which was issued Jan. 27, banned citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries entry into the United States and indefinitely suspended admission of Syrian refugees. The new order, which was signed last Monday, removed Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens were banned from entering the United States and lifted the indefinite suspension of Syrian refugees.

“The court appreciates that there may be important differences between the original executive order and the revised executive order,” Conley wrote in his decision. “As the order applies to the plaintiff here, however, the court finds his claims have at least some chance of prevailing for the reasons articulated by other courts.”

In an email statement, the Syrian refugee’s lawyer, Vincent Levy, a partner at Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, said he was pleased that Conley granted the injunction. “Judge Conley’s order ensures that, at least until a further hearing, to be held on March 21, the new travel ban will not prevent the processing of our client’s petitions. We look forward to demonstrating the illegality of the revised travel ban at the next hearing.”

Conley made clear that his opinion only applied to the limited set of facts before him. Other groups are challenging the new travel ban as a whole. The state of Hawaii already has filed a lawsuit, and the American Civil Liberties Union has said it also will challenge the revised ban. Also on Friday, the Seattle judge who halted the previous ban said on Friday that he needed more information before deciding whether to extend his injunction to cover the new ban.

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