Update on President Trump’s Immigration Executive Orders & Ensuing Litigation


On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order “(p)rotecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.”     Friday’s order suspends “visas and other immigrant benefits” to individuals from “countries of particular concern.”  The order suspends, for 90 days, visas for individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Earlier in the week, on January 25th, the President also signed two Executive Orders pertaining to immigration. The order regarding Border Security can be found here while the order enhancing Public Safety is located here.

After Friday’s order, turmoil  and litigation ensued.  To read about the detentions and protests at airports, check out articles from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Fox News.

On Saturday night, January 28th, New York’s federal district court judge for the Eastern District, Ann M. Donnelly, issued a stay.  Since then, lawsuits have been filed in Alexandra, Boston, Los Angeles, and Seattle with stays being issued.  Access to the documents filed in the six cases is available via the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse here.

The story continues to develop.  On Monday, January 30th, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates refused to defend the order, questioning its legality.   On Monday night, President Trump fired Yates for “refusing to enforce a legal order.”

Hat Tip:  Joycelyn Kennedy

Update # 1 (2/3/2017)

According to Law.com, more than 40 lawsuits have been filed against President Trump for the Executive Order regarding immigration.

Update #2 (2/4/2017)

Judge James L. Robart of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order  (TRO)on Friday, February 3rd, against President Trump’s January 27th Executive Order 13769.

On Saturday, February 4th, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement, saying “… [i]n accordance with the judge’s ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.

This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order.

DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure.

At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the president’s Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate.  The order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the president has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so.”

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusettsrefused to grant injunctive relief and would not renew a previously granted TRO on Friday, February 3rd.

Conflicting opinions now exist.

Update # 3 (2/5/2017)

On Saturday, 2/4/2017, the Department of Justice filed an Emergency Motion for Administrative Stay and a Stay Pending Appeal against W.D. Washington Judge Robart’s order granting injunctive relief and a TRO against Executive Order 13769 which denied visas to individuals from seven countries and prohibited their entry into the states.  This order, referred to as a Muslim Ban by the media,  has been greeted with protests both nationally and internationally.

Judges Canby and Friedland for the United States Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit denied the stay on February 4th.


About Lisa Smith-Butler

Associate Professor of Law Charleston School of Law 385 Meeting St., Suite 322B Charleston, S.C. 29403 843.377.2144
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