Trump administration agrees to settle first travel ban lawsuit


The American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday the Trump administration settled with plaintiffs in the first legal challenge to the president’s original travel ban executive order, which sought to bar people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.

The settlement, according to a press release shared with Mic via email, compels the U.S. government to contact all individuals who were barred from entry as a result of the executive order and inform them of their right to reapply for a visa. In addition to informing people, the government will also provide a list of pro bono immigration legal aid providers to assist with any needs during the visa application.

According to the ACLU, one of the lead plaintiffs, Hameed Darweesh, worked for the U.S. military in Iraq and his life was in danger. He entered the United States for protection and was detained by the government and threatened with deportation despite having a valid visa to enter the country.

“On January 27, Hameed Darweesh and thousands of others attempted to legally enter the United States,” Becca Heller, director of the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, said in a statement. “They were detained, handcuffed and, in many cases, deported. This settlement forces the government to individually reach out to everyone illegally kept out of the country, and begin to remedy that wrong. But it is only a first step — we continue to fight against the illegal, discriminatory and un-American provisions of the second Muslim ban.”

When informed of the settlement, Darweesh told the ACLU, “It means a lot to me to be in America. The United States is a great country because of its people. I’m glad that the lawsuit is over. Me and my family are safe; my kids go to school; we can now live a normal life. I suffered back home, but I have my rights now. I’m a human.”