New Trump travel ban can’t be enforced on Syrian family trying to flee to Wisconsin

A federal judge on Friday blocked President Trump ‘s administration from enforcing his new travel ban against a Syrian family looking to escape their war-torn homeland by fleeing to Wisconsin.

The ruling is likely the first by a judge since Trump issued a revised travel ban on Monday, according to a spokesman for the Washington state attorney general, who has led states challenging the ban.

The Syrian man filed a new complaint on Friday afternoon, alleging the new order is still an anti-Muslim ban that violates his freedom of religion and right to due process. He asked Conley to block its enforcement against his family.

U.S. District Judge William Conley said there were daily threats to the Syrian man’s wife and child that could cause “irreparable harm.” He issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement against the family. The order doesn’t block the entire travel ban. It simply prevents Trump’s administration from enforcing it against this family pending a March 21 hearing.


“The court appreciates that there may be important differences between the original executive order, and the revised executive order. … As the order applies to the plaintiff here, however, the court finds his claims have at least some chance of prevailing for the reasons articulated by other courts,” Conley wrote.

A Syrian Muslim man who was granted asylum and settled in Wisconsin has been working since last year to win U.S. government approval for his wife and 3-year-old daughter to leave the devastated city of Aleppo and join him here. The man, who is not identified because of fears for his family’s safety, filed a federal lawsuit in Madison in February alleging Trump’s first travel ban had wrongly stopped the visa process for his family.

gavel_small-2 New Trump travel ban can't be enforced on Syrian family trying to flee to Wisconsin Headlines

After the Trump ban was blocked the first time, the approval process restarted for the Syrian family and they’re now preparing to travel to Jordan for visa interviews at the U.S. embassy, the last step before U.S. customs officials decide whether to issue them visas. But the family doesn’t have dates for the interviews yet and Trump’s new travel ban goes into effect March 16, stirring fears that the process could halt again before visas are issued, according to the Syrian man’s attorneys.

Government attorneys argued during a teleconference with Conley on Friday that the new ban may not apply to this family anyway, although they did not go into details. There are various exemptions and waivers in the new ban including some that give consular officers flexibility to decide cases. Conley acknowledged that the family’s situation is murky but still issued the order, saying the man seems to have a good chance of winning the case.

The U.S Justice Department is defending the ban. Spokeswoman Nicole Navas said agency attorneys were reviewing the Syrian man’s complaint and declined further comment on it and Conley’s order.

Trump issued an executive order in January banning travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Syria, from entering the United States. U.S. District Judge James Robart in Washington state blocked the entire order on Feb. 3.

The revised order issued Monday removed Iraq from the list of countries and would temporarily shuts down the refugee program. Unlike the first order, the new ban would not affect current visa holders and removes language that would give priority to religious minorities. Hawaii filed a lawsuit challenging the new ban Wednesday; other states with Democratic attorneys general plan to sue next week.

According to the Syrian man’s lawsuit, he fled his country to avoid near-certain death at the hands of two military factions, one a Sunni-aligned group fighting against President Assad ‘s regime and another group fighting in support of Assad. The pro-Assad forces thought he was sympathetic to the other side and the anti-Assad army targeted him because he was a Sunni and traveled to pro-Assad areas to manage his family’s business.

Both sides tortured him and threatened to kill him, the lawsuit said. The pro-Assad forces also threatened to rape his wife. He came to the United States in 2014 and was granted asylum last year. He then began filing petitions seeking asylum for his wife and daughter.

  • DrArtaud

    OK, I’ve had it. Moved to action - no, moved to write - yes. Franz Kafka said if he didn’t write, he’d gone insane. I can sympathize, though I won’t be writing about men that turn into giant insects over night and the discrimination they experience in that new form.

    America has a fetish for muslims, and I think that needs investigated. 8 years of the Kenyan president we called obama has led to him, and his administration, refusing to help Syrian Christians and obsessing about muslim refugees. Where were the concerns then about religious exclusion?

    No room in America for Christian refugees

    ….The rapes of Christian women and the butchery of Christian children do not count. No matter how moved Americans were this Christmas season by the plight of their fellow Christ followers in Syria and Iraq, no matter how horrific the visuals of beheadings, enslavement, and mass murder, the Christians fleeing death do not engender the compassion of this president.
    The Christians are being raped, tortured, and murdered by militias, not by the Syrian government. This technicality condemns them to continue to be victims without hope. And this technicality is being adhered to with all the tenacity with which President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State Department manipulated quotas and created subterfuges to keep out the Jews fleeing the oppression of Nazi Germany. Obama no more wants the Middle East’s Christian refugees than Roosevelt wanted Europe’s Jewish refugees.

    America is not the Hotel 6 for the world’s poor, where did that asinine belief come from, and why was this idiot judge unconcerned for 8 years while obama excluded Christians in need? The action by this judge is not based on humanitarian needs, it’s his desire to degrade and embarrass Trump’s efforts. My neighborhood has been transformed from 60% white, 40% black, to what at times seems like 100% Bhutanese. 6000 have been placed in and around Mt. Oliver by refugee efforts, and Mt. Oliver is the mecca for Bhutanese from around the country that have been placed elsewhere, then simply relocate here. This has to stop, the govt is transforming large areas of the U.S. by populating those areas with foreigners, and again the maxim holds true “anything but Christians”.

    In days of yore, sailing ships plied the earth. No radios, no weather forecasting, no airplanes for rescue efforts, and comparatively little traffic meant that a ship that sank could put its crew in lifeboats for weeks or more before hopefully being rescued or encountering land where the locals were friendly.

    Ships had provisioned lifeboats, food and water stored on the lifeboat, ready to be pressed into service at any moment. So; bad weather, fire, or catastrophic failure; takes out a ship, and into the lifeboats everyone went. Well many. The thing that shocked me were the stories I read of ship wrecks, with crew in the boat, and crew or passengers in the water, and often they just watched as living, otherwise healthy, humans were washed away to their deaths with no attempts to rescue them.

    Why? Because provisions only last so long. Because food and water to feed 15 for a week will not feed 30 for a week, and crews would routinely perish in lifeboats because they went weeks, or longer, without rescue. To add to the cruelty, since the lifeboats were at water level with a small sail, passing ships may be unable to see them though the lifeboat occupants can see the sails of a passing ship. So, 15 in a lifeboat surviving a ship wreck is much better than 30 dying in a lifeboat.

    We don’t need refugees, we don’t need illegal immigrants, we don’t need guest workers (high or low skilled), we don’t need any immigrants, and when we do, we need to open immigration up to “include” (not limited to, but include) white Europeans. The idea of bringing in only people from developing and impoverished countries is not helping America (you know, that amorphous open border land mass below Canada and above mexico and cuba known to refugees and illegal immigrants as Motel 6).

    Trump has a plan, something that should have been conceptualized by the world’s smartest man, obama, that just left office. Trump wants to create safe areas in countries with issues that otherwise generate refugees so that they can, essentially, shelter there. I’m 100% on board with that idea. Bringing predominantly muslim refugees to America is a recipe for disaster. Bringing predominantly non-Christians to America is a recipe for machinations.