Mohammed Tawfeeq, a CNN editor and producer has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Customs, and Border Protection, and other federal agencies. Tawfeeq was detained Sunday as a result of Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning travel and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq. Mohammed Tawfeeq is an Iraqi national who has been living permanently and legally in the United States for nearly four years.
The lawsuit challenges the legality specifically of Trump’s executive order, claiming that Tawfeeq and many like him have to travel internationally regularly as a result of their employment. The letter allegedly asserts that:
‘The executive order has greatly increased the uncertainty involved in current and future international travel for returning lawful permanent residents like Mr. Tawfeeq.’
The Middle East is certainly among the places that Mohammed Tawfeeq must travel for his work with CNN, which alongside his background will likely result in delays each time he travels. Reasonably, Tawfeeq has concerns about being repeatedly additionally screened, delayed, and detained.
Mr. Tawfeeq’s harassment and detainment took place at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, but it is not an isolated story. There have been a huge number of reports of innocent people being detained across the country because of the order, including children.
Tawfeeq alleges that the named Departments unlawfully detained him in trying to fulfill Trump’s recent executive order. No doubt this was the result of the profound lack of communication leading up to the signing of the order. Departments operated for hours without written directions on how to apply the order, and the reports allege that these written specifics were still extremely vague.
Tawfeeq seeks a declaration of his rights as a result of the lawsuit. The award-winning journalist and manager of CNN’s International Desk claims that his detainment was in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Constitution, and the Administrative Procedure Act. The lawsuit furthers states that applying the executive order to any lawful permanent residents or green card holders returning after a brief trip abroad would violate the aforementioned legislation.
Tawfeeq’s lawsuit certainly isn’t the first to grace Trump’s desk in the Oval Office either. It has been reported that as of Tuesday midday, Donald Trump had been served with 42 lawsuits against his person specifically, and an unknown number have been served against various federal agencies as a result of his orders.
The first to challenge the executive order by taking legal action was the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which put forth a class action lawsuit to release and protest Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi. The former worked in support of the United States during the Iraq War and the latter had a visa in hand, seeking to join his wife and seven-year-old old son who already live here as refugees.
Despite all of these lawsuits however the statements coming from the White House are not changing:‘All stopped visas will remain stopped. All halted admissions will remain halted. All restricted travel will remain prohibited. The executive order is a vital action toward strengthening America’s borders, and therefore sovereignty. The order remains in place.’We can only hope that these lawsuits add to the growing public displays of opposition to the order, and that sooner rather than later the President and his administration will rescind it.