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Former U.S. Army Interpreter Sues Trump Over Immigration Order

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Former U.S. Army Interpreter Sues Trump Over Immigration Order

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – An initial volley in a potential barrage of legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s new restrictions on immigration came on Saturday on behalf of two Iraqis with ties to U.S. security forces who were detained at New York’s JFK Airport.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, the men are challenging the directive on constitutional grounds. The suit says that their connections to the American forces made them targets in their home country, and the pair had valid visas to enter the United States.

The lawsuit, which seeks to block Trump’s order on behalf of a class of visa-holders and asylum-seekers, highlights some of the legal obstacles facing the new administration as it tries to carry out the directive.

The plight of one of the men, a former U.S. Army interpreter, is especially compelling, said David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association who is not involved in the suit.

“Here is a guy who was a translator who worked for the U.S. military for years who himself was targeted by terrorists,” he said. “It is clear that if he is sent back, he facing a direct threat to his life.”

That man, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, was released later on Saturday and told a crowd of reporters outside John F. Kennedy International Airport that he did not have ill feelings about his detention.

“America is the greatest nation, the greatest people in the world,” he said.

Darweesh, 53, worked for the U.S. Army and for a U.S. contractor in Iraq from 2003 to 2013 as an interpreter and engineer, the lawsuit said.

The second plaintiff, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, 33, was still being held. He is the husband of an Iraqi woman who worked for a U.S. contractor in Iraq, and she already lives in Houston, the suit said.

Ten other travelers not named in the suit were being detained at JFK Airport on Saturday afternoon, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, told reporters.

Trump, a Republican, on Friday signed a sweeping executive order that put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily barred travelers from Iraq and six other Muslim-majority countries. The order would help protect Americans from terrorist attacks, the president said.

Representatives for the White House could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday.

Supporters of the order say the president has wide authority to limit the entry of foreign nationals from specific countries when it is in the national interest.

“If we decided to give green cards only to redheads who can play the spoons, we can do that,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies.

The lawsuit on behalf of the Iraqis challenges Trump’s order on several grounds. It says the order violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of due process by taking away their ability to apply for asylum, and violates the guarantee of equal protection by discriminating against them on the basis of their country of origin without sufficient justification.

It also says the order violates procedural requirements of federal rulemaking.

Another legal challenge is expected on Monday, when the Council on American-Islamic Relations has said it plans to announce a lawsuit arguing that the order targets Muslims and violates the U.S. guarantee of religious freedom.

Trump’s order does not mention specific religions, but in an interview on Friday with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump said he was acting to help Christians in Syria who were “horribly treated.”

Comments like that could come back to haunt the president in litigation over his order, said Hiroshi Motomura, an immigration expert at UCLA School of Law.

“There were comments during the campaign that focused very much on religion as the target,” Motomura said. “If the record showed that the origins of a particular measure were based on targeting a particular group, that could be challenged in court.”

Eric Rothschild, senior litigation counsel at religious liberties group Americans United For Separation of Church and State, said Trump has created a perverse situation for asylum-seekers.

“People will be quizzed on their faith in order to gain access to the country, maybe motivating them to deny their faith,” he said.

(Reporting by David Ingram and Mica Rosenberg; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington, and Jonathan Allen and Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby and Franklin Paul)

IMAGE: Displaced Iraqi people, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, gather at Khazer camp, Iraq December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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25 Comments

  1. Phillip Thomas January 28, 2017

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  2. I Am Helpy January 29, 2017

    Just to be clear, America is punishing the guys who helped it for having the wrong skin color. Meanwhile, Putin is being rewarded – REWARDED – for interfering in the election. And the so-called patriots of the right – cowards to a man – have nothing to say on either topic, except in craven, ass-kissing support.

    Reply
    1. stcroixcarp January 29, 2017

      Women trump supporters are also cowards, equal in every way to their bigoted menfolk.

      Reply
      1. I Am Helpy January 29, 2017

        I can’t argue with that! (But I also can’t think of a genderless equivalent to “to a man” that doesn’t sound awkward)

        Reply
  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 29, 2017

    The mere fact that someone outside of Trump’s orbit would have to say what Trump and Congress should be saying, is shameful and throws into doubt the sincerity of Trump and his supporters when he and they affirm that they are Christian.
    Hardly a more godless attitude than what Trump and his surrogates have evinced can be found anywhere on the planet will be found.
    America is now in the throes of “trumpian” forces straight out of hell, and ravaging the American landscape.

    Reply
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  4. ivory69690@yahoo.com January 29, 2017

    now the suit will be against the government . unless maybe we can do the 25th amendment on the DUMPSTER then get the clown out of the house then sue the POS

    Reply
    1. Eleanore Whitaker January 29, 2017

      The ACLU is already suing him for this outright violation of the U.S. Constitution for prejudice. He loves to pretend his actions are all protecting the US. When you look at which Muslim countries he isn’t banning anyone from, you see these are the ones Tillerson and the HUMP both have huge oil investments in. Smell that presidential profit?

      If Hillary or Obama EVER dared do what this snake in the grass is doing, the Trumpfrigstan States would nailed them to a cross.

      Reply
      1. Dan S January 29, 2017

        And I thought it’d be at least a month before all Hell broke loose under Fake President Trump. Only a week and people want to either impeach him, charge him with treason or just take him for an evening at the Ford Theater. Bottom line is one way or the other he won’t be President for long or we’ll definitely be in Civil War if we’re not there already

        Reply
        1. Eleanore Whitaker January 29, 2017

          He rigged an election. There is enough proof of that. No matter what else you insistent morons try to believe, he didn’t win the popular vote. ALL he won was 270 Electoral College votes that just happen to be ALL Republican electors.

          Can you swear on a Bible those 270 votes were not paid for by the $100 million The Hump claimed in the 2nd debate he donated to his campaign?

          Would you swear on a Bible PUtin isn’t guilty of interferring with a US election and that therefore makes him an enemy of the US? Or do you think a crooked, corrupted election is fine and dandy because the only way morons can win is by cheating?

          Hope you enjoy the bad example this asshat Hump is teaching your kids…to lie, distort the truth and cheat all they want. So at what age will your sons go around grabbing pussies?

          Reply
          1. Dan S January 29, 2017

            I trust that comment wasn’t directed at me. No argument from me he’s a minority President who lost the popular vote by a wide margin. Yes the fix was in from the help of Russia to throw the election to Trump. I genuinely think he’ll be gone soon but then we get a President Pence. Small comfort I know

            Reply
      2. ivory69690@yahoo.com January 29, 2017

        all the suits mean nothing to the deranged dumpster . thy will all be on the government not him the clown ., he sets back thinks and hears no one unless thy have something stupid to say like how he thinks . he seeks nothing from sane people in the government . only id his BRAIN DEAD staff . the whole gang of them should be on very heavy meds

        Reply
        1. ivory69690@yahoo.com January 29, 2017

          if anyone that was in any office of the government was to be pulling the crap DONNY DUMP is pulling yes heavy thing would be dropping on them as there should be dropping of this idiot now . all this DUMPSTER B/S now it is attention and that’s what the addicted junky needs for his fix . he is deranged and is of no mind he is more like in the stages of a bi-polar disorder which been going on for decades . and the DNA of the clown runs fast and deep through out his whole brain washed & brain dead family . the government should really look into the 25th amendment and a complete psychological evaluation examination of the president CLOWN . so it can be determined that the USA dosent need a BOZO in the white house

          Reply
      3. ivory69690@yahoo.com January 29, 2017

        if anyone was to be pulling the crap DONNY DUMP is pulling yes heavy thing would be dropping on them as there should be dropping of this idiot now . all this DUMPSTER B/S now it is attention and that’s what the addicted junky needs for his fix . he is deranged and is of no mind he is more like in the stages of a bi-polar disorder which been going on for decades . and the DNA of the clown runs fast and deep through out his whole brain washed & brain dead family . the government should really look into the 25th amendment and a complete psychological evaluation examination of the president CLOWN . so it can be determined that the USA dosent need a BOZO in the white house

        Reply
  5. Kathy Carr January 29, 2017

    Trump gave ISIS all the more ammo to attack our country from abroad. He HAS put our soldiers over seas in more danger. America HATES Muslims. What a selling point for ISIS This IS what they have been waiting for

    Reply
    1. itsfun January 29, 2017

      Muslims have promised to kill all infidels. You are a infidel. Should the President give foreign aid to ISIS? How about just eliminating ISIS. How would that be for a selling point? Our soldiers are brave and honorable men and women and will what is necessary to keep our country safe.

      Reply
      1. Eleanore Whitaker January 29, 2017

        Show us were ALL Muslims made that promise. Can’t can you bigot bastard? Now..get this and get it straight. We are going to take that mentally deranged frigbait as far down as we can. And…you with it.

        You love those Hump registries do you? Good. You and your KKK will be the first ones added to those lists.

        Where the hell have you been moron? President Obama took out more ISIS all of whom are former al Qaeda cells, than the wussy boy you put in office ever will.

        What is he doing to do? Go around bombing any country who won’t obey him? So you love Hitler do you? You love dicktators?

        Our soldiers are also the vets your HUMP just cut funding for their medical care you asshat. The job of the military isn’t to protect the HUMP. It is to protect the country. The Hump already has the Secret Service to protect him, not that your GOP won’t realize he won’t ask for their decisions or input. He will become the next assassinated president and we will all spit on his grave.

        Reply
        1. 788eddie January 29, 2017

          You go, Girl!

          But I’m not sure itsfun is even worth the effort; he’ll be just dust on the trash heap of history

          Reply
          1. Eleanore Whitaker January 29, 2017

            He/she is worth pinning to a list of US traitors who are supporting Hump’s treason. When we clean house of the Traitor in Chief, they are adhering to him and giving him aid and comfort in violation of the US Constitution. You bet I’d be the first to see to it they go down with him.

            Reply
          2. 788eddie January 29, 2017

            In reflection, I find that I’m on board with that.

            Reply
          3. Eleanore Whitaker January 29, 2017

            How about penning in the moron righties inside one of Trump’s FEMA camps he thinks he will use for detainees who are immigrants and refugees?

            Notice how that slimeball in his last tweet put in that business about his Mommy Mary Ann being a Scottish immigrant? He knew if he didn’t, he would be called an anchor baby. She only married Daddy so she could become an American and the best way to force him to marry such a cloying, golddigger was to get her self pregnant.

            Reply
      2. I Am Helpy January 29, 2017

        “We have to destroy the Constitution because I’m a terrified racist weenie!!!1”

        You’re ten times more likely to be killed by a toddler finding a gun than a jihadi, coward. Or fifteen times more likely to be struck by lightning.

        Or, of course, TWELVE THOUSAND times more likely to be shot by another American.

        Hmmm. Maybe guns are a bigger problem than your pants-wetting terror of brown people? Who knew?

        Reply
  6. FireBaron January 29, 2017

    “If we decided to give green cards only to redheads who can play the
    spoons, we can do that,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the
    conservative Center for Immigration Studies. – If Mr. Krikorian is NOT a readhead who can play the spoons, then I call for his immediate deportation from the United States.

    Reply
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