BOSTON (CBS) — Federal judges ruled in favor of the Massachusetts ACLU to essentially stop President Donald Trump’s immigration order being carried out at Logan Airport.
“I want to just go back to something that the ACLU said when Donald Trump was elected,” said ACLU lawyer Matthew Segal. “If he tried to implement his unlawful orders or his unlawful plans, we would see him in court. Today, we saw him in court.”
The decision came down around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, and follows a similar decision made just hours before in New York City.
“This is our first victory, our first day in court–or night in court, as the case may be–but it won’t be the last one,” said ACLU attorney Kerry Doyle.
In the Boston case, Mazdak Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam, two UMass Dartmouth professors with legal resident status were detained at Logan Airport Saturday afternoon.
“We are deeply disheartened by this alarming action that has violated the rights of members of the UMass community and many others,” the University of Massachusetts said in a statement. “This is not the country we promised to them when we invited them to study, teach and conduct research here.”
The judge’s The ruling says the action violates “rights to due process and equal protection.” It stops the detention and removal of refugees, residents, and visaholders, including the two professors, for seven days.
“It requires Customs and Border Protection to notify the airlines that the executive order is stayed in Massachusetts, and that they should not be turning away lawful permanent residents and lawful visa holders from entry into the United States,” said ACLU attorney Susan Church outside court early Sunday morning.
Key wording in the decision could open the door to allowing others in the same position being released.
“Because our order is actually a little broader than the nationwide class-action, we think it’s a good step in the right direction to try to broaden some of the rights and some of the protections afforded to immigrants that are coming or that are returning to the United States,” said Doyle.
Mass. ACLU President Carol Rose says the court decision reiterates her agency’s stance that President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional and illegal.
“Government isn’t allowed to discriminate against people based on their religion, and this is clearly targeted at Muslims, the president has said so in many ways,” Rose told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe. “At the same time, it’s also a due process violation, because these people had a right to be in the United States. They have a right to come into our country. They had all their legal papers in order. They were all already vetted so that they could come to the United States.”
At Logan Airport Sunday, some were anxiously awaiting the arrival of relatives who were coming from countries listed in Trump’s executive order.
ACLU and immigration attorneys were present to meet with any immigrants who may need their help.
President Trump’s executive order called for a 90-day ban of citizens entering the United States from seven majority-Muslim countries.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports