The first lawsuit against President Donald Trump's new immigration restrictions has been filed after two Iraqis with ties to U.S. security forces in their homeland were detained at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The two men are challenging, on constitutional grounds, Trump’s temporary entry ban against nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iraq.
The lawsuit was filed in a federal U.S. court in Brooklyn, New York, on January 28.
It says their connections to U.S. forces make them targets for terrorists if they are sent back to Iraq, and that they have valid visas to enter the United States.
One of the men, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army and for a U.S. contractor in Iraq, from 2003 until 2013.
Darweesh was released later on January 28 after a brief detention.
The second plaintiff, 33-year-old Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was still being held later on January 28.
He is the husband of an Iraqi woman who now lives in Houston, Texas, after working for a U.S. contractor in Iraq.
Authorities say 10 other travelers not named in the suit also were detained at JFK airport on January 28 under Trump’s executive order.
The immediate, 90-day U.S. entry ban applies to Iraq and six other countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
* CORRECTION: This story was amended from its original version to correctly describe the travel ban as issued by the White House.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters