NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2017 — A federal judge in New York has granted a nationwide stay of removal preventing the Trump administration from deporting refugees and others who had lawful authority to enter the United States.

The order issued by Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York comes after leading civil rights groups earlier today filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s executive order banning refugees and other individuals from certain countries from entering the U.S. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Iraqi men who were targeted by insurgents for their associations with the U.S. military and who were approved for resettlement in the U.S. earlier this month. Both men have since been released from having been detained at New York’s JFK Airport, but many similarly situated people are currently being detained at U.S. airports.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“This is a great victory for our clients Hameed and Haider, and for the many others across the country whose lives were suddenly turned upside-down by President Trump’s inhumane and unconstitutional order. It means that those fleeing horrific conditions, who fought alongside soldiers protecting our country, or who were merely caught up in the shear irresponsibility of this order will not be sent away.

“Today, we fought to protect the right of our two clients and all similarly held in airports across the country, and we fought to defend our Constitution and treasured American values of equality and freedom. The National Immigration Law Center promised we would use every resource to fight the Trump administration’s anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant agenda, and we will continue to do so. This should serve as a reminder that the Constitution applies to everybody in America.”

Today’s lawsuit was filed by Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi. They are represented by the National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project, the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) at Yale Law School, and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

A copy of the stay of removal is available at