By DEREK NORMAN
The courtroom face-off between ACLU lawyers and the U.S. government continued in Brooklyn federal court Thursday, as the judge ordered an extension of the temporary restraining order against Trump’s executive travel ban until Feb. 21.
The case that has garnered national attention, was expected to stretch out to the coming weeks as both sides present their briefings to Judge Carol B. Amon, in the case of two Iraqi immigrants who entered the U.S. following the internationally contentious travel ban. The two Iraqi men, Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Alshawi, were granted re-entry into the country at JFK airport on authority of their green cards and Judge Ann M. Donnelly’s stay order last Saturday.
“I don’t want to rush the party’s discussions,” said Amon of her decision to extend the order. “There might be aspects where you can reach agreement. But I don’t want to leave this issue in limbo.”
The government lawyer Samuel Go pointed out that nobody was being detained at the airport now. But ACLU lawyers expressed fear that it would not remain that way and incoming immigrants from the marked countries might risk mistreatment.
“We would like the government to provide the names of people who have been removed or detained since Saturday night,” said ACLU advocate Lee Gelernt. “People are still coming in right now and there is no way of knowing if they are being detained.”
The rights lawyers also voiced suspicion that other immigrants were being removed under the executive order and without notice or record; government attorneys countered that nowhere in Justice Donnelly’s ruling mentioned that the federal government must provide updated lists. The plaintiffs’ side noted several cases in California of customs agents falsely telling immigrants once they reach the U.S., that their only option was to voluntarily return to their country or risk legal consequence.
“There needs to be noone deported,” insisted Gelernt. “There needs to be a stay. We don’t see this as a standard TRO, but we see this is a removal. I practice a lot of immigration cases and I know this one is different. But, in immigration cases this is called a ‘state of removal.’ And this may be different, but there needs to be no removals.”
The case was scheduled to resume sometime next week.