MICHIGAN US DISTRICT COURT JUDGE ALLOWS NEW LITIGATION CHALLENGING TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN TO PROCEED

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq.

While the Federal judiciary has generally protected immigrant rights against the policies of the Trump administration, one exception was the decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Trump v. Hawaii, 138 S. Ct. 2392 (2018), which upheld the validity of President Trump’s travel ban.  However, at least one Federal judge may be reconsidering the issue. In the case of Arab American Civil Rights League v. Trump, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114273 (E.D. Mich. 2019), on July 10, Michigan US District Court Judge Victoria Roberts allowed new litigation challenging Trump’s travel ban to proceed.

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued Proclamation No. 9645, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” (the “Proclamation”).  The Proclamation in effect created a travel ban restricting nationals from 7 countries (mostly predominantly Muslim countries) from entering the United States. 

Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in the Trump v. Hawaii case in favor of the Proclamation, Judge Roberts did not believe that she was bound to follow the Supreme Court ruling because the Trump v. Hawaii case concerned a motion for preliminary injunction, while the Arab American Civil Rights League v. Trump case concerned a motion to dismiss.  Judge Roberts noted that the standard of review for a motion for preliminary injunction is different than for a motion to dismiss.

Judge Roberts further stated, “Beyond their reliance on Hawaii, Defendants fail to meaningfully challenge the factual allegations of Plaintiffs’ Third Amended Complaint.  Such a challenge would be unavailing. Plaintiffs’ Third Amended Complaint contains extensive, detailed, and non-conclusory allegations that support their three claims.  Specifically, Plaintiffs allege significant, well-pled and supported facts to refute that the Proclamation is rationally related to national security goals and to induce other nations to improve information sharing. . . . It also plausibly alleges that the Proclamation is not able to be explained by anything but animus toward Muslims. . . . Although the Proclamation is facially neutral, its impact falls predominantly on Muslims.  This is not surprising considering that the historical background of the Proclamation and sequence of events preceding it ‘reveal . . . numerous actions being taken for discriminatory purposes.’ . . . Plaintiffs plausibly allege sufficient facts to demonstrate that the Proclamation is not rationally related to national security goals of preventing inadequately vetted individuals and inducing other nations to improve information sharing. . . . Indeed, Plaintiffs present sufficient evidence that the Proclamation is unable to be explained by anything but animus towards Muslims”.

Judge Roberts’ opinion simply denied the Trump administration’s attempt to dismiss the plaintiffs’ litigation in the Arab American Civil Rights League case; it was not yet a victory for the plaintiffs to cancel the travel ban as set forth by the Proclamation.  However, the litigation in the case will continue. Judge Roberts’ opinion shows the importance for immigrants to have representation by qualified immigration litigation counsel, such as the Law Offices of Kameli and Associates, which has successfully defended the rights of immigrants for many years.  If you have concerns with the travel ban as set forth by the Proclamation or any other immigration issue, please contact the Law Offices of Kameli and Associates, at taher@kameli.com or 312-233-1000, for assistance.