The ACLU and several other legal organizations filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqi men who were en route to the United States when President Trump issued an executive order banning many Muslims from entering the country.

The lead plaintiffs were detained by the U.S. government and threatened with deportation – even though they have valid visas to enter the United States.

One plaintiff, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, worked for the U.S. military. His life was in danger in his home country due to that relationship. A former Obama administration official and platoon commander during the invasion of Iraq said on Twitter yesterday that Mr. Darweesh "spent years keeping U.S. soldiers alive in combat in Iraq."

The family of the other plaintiff, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was also threatened because of perceived ties to the United States. His wife and 7-year-old son are lawful permanent residents living in Houston, Texas and were eagerly awaiting his arrival. Mr. Alshawi’s son has not seen his father for three years.

Tellingly, Trump’s executive order authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to admit refugees on a "case-by-case" basis, for people of a minority religion in their home countries. In effect, Trump has barred Muslims from entering the United States, while favoring the entry of Christians.

Mr. Darweesh was just released from detention at John F. Kennedy International Airport this afternoon, but Mr. Alshawi and others remain in detention. The ACLU and its supporters will not stand for the Trump administration’s unconstitutional discrimination. Today, and every day, we will fight back.

For more information on our lawsuit, please see