University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
refine this search
permalink for this search
S P E C I A L   C O L L E C T I O N
Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Refugee/Visa Order

President Trump has issued a series of Executive Orders relating to immigration and refugee policy. The first order on refugees, available here, totally barred admission into the United States of all nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen--including those who are already legal green card holders and already here. Legal challenges ensued immediately. The original Executive Order was placed on hold when in States of Washington and Minnesota v. Trump the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington granted a temporary injunction against its operation, and on Feb. 9, the 9th Circuit refused to stay that injunction.

In response, the President on March 6, 2017, rescinded the refugee order and replaced it with a somewhat narrower one, available here. The new order faced immediate challenge, as well; the first case to attack it was Hawaii v. Trump. In that case, on March 15, the federal district court enjoined operation of the Executive Order. Hawaii’s injunction was quickly followed by a second one, entered in IRAP v. Trump, in the District of Maryland. Both were affirmed on appeal by the 9th Circuit and the 4th Circuit, respectively. On June 1, 2017, the Trump administration took the matter to the Supreme Court, seeking a stay of both injunctions, and certiorari review. The Court granted cert., scheduling oral argument on the merits for October 10, 2017. In the meantime, the Court declined to stay most of the lower courts’ injunction, but did narrow the preliminary injunctions to protect only would-be visitors/immigrants to the U.S. with a "bona fide relationship" with a U.S. person or entity. On June 29, 2017, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security issued several public documents explaining that the administration would interpret a qualifying “bona fide relationship” to exclude many relatives - fiancés, grandparents/grandchildren, siblings-in-law, and others. The federal government also explained its view that the relationship between a refugee and a sponsoring resettlement agency would not be sufficient to establish a qualifying “bona fide relationship” under this interpretation.

For the next two months, the federal government and plaintiffs continued to battle about the scope and meaning of “bona fide relationship” under the Supreme Court’s narrowed injunction. Meanwhile, the travel ban imposed by the second Executive Order expired on September 24, 2017. That same day, the Trump Administration signed a proclamation, available here, indefinitely restricting travel from the following eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. The Supreme Court cancelled the October 8 hearing and asked the parties to file new briefs in light of the proclamation, addressing specifically whether the September 24 proclamation and the 90-day ban’s expiration rendered the instant case moot. On October 10, 2017, the Supreme Court determined that the appeal no longer presented a live case or controversy, and remanded it to the circuit courts to dismiss the underlying challenges as moot.

Plaintiffs quickly resumed litigation in the federal district courts. On October 17, 2017, the district courts in both Hawaii v. Trump and IRAP v. Trump enjoined the Trump administration from enforcing its new proclamation nationwide. The federal government immediately appealed both orders and moved to stay the district courts’ injunctions pending appeal. In Hawaii v. Trump, the Ninth Circuit is set to hear oral argument on the federal government’s motion to stay the district court’s injunction on December 6, 2017. In IRAP v. Trump (now consolidated with Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump and Zakzok v. Trump), the Fourth Circuit is set to hear oral argument on the government’s motion to stay the district court’s injunction on December 8, 2017. More details and the documents are available at the links above.

Dozens of cases were filed against the original executive order; many have continued, after amendment, to challenge the newest version. We have incorporated the principal cases into the Clearinghouse. We've also posted a spreadsheet of the cases, here. Please note: The information in the list is pulled from the federal court's electronic docket system, PACER--it is preliminary and partial, and may have errors.

This page collects challenges the refugee/visa order. For cases challenging immigration enforcement orders, go to this page. And for Freedom of Information Act litigation against the Trump administration, including a great deal of litigation relating to immigration and border enforcement, go to this page.
The below cases represent a special subset of the full Clearinghouse collection.
Your search returned 43 results Save Search As:       
1 Make the Road New York v. Pompeo
1:19-cv-11633 (S.D.N.Y.)
Filed 12/19/2019 - Case Ongoing
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-NY-0070
Coding Complete
This is a challenge to the Trump Administration's changes to the immigration "Public Charge" Rules. On December 19, 2019, individuals facing deportation, their United States citizen relatives, and nonprofit organizations that assist noncitizens filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs sued ... [view]
2 HIAS, Inc. v. Trump
8:19-cv-03346-PJM (D. Md.)
Filed 11/21/2019 - Case Ongoing
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-MD-0013
Coding Complete
On November 21, 2019, three refugee resettlement agencies filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, challenging the Trump Administration's recent Executive Order, "Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement." HIAS, Inc., Church World Service, Inc., and Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service, Inc ... [view]
3 Doe v. McAleenan
3:19-cv-02119-DMS-AGS (S.D. Cal.)
Filed 11/05/2019 - Case Ongoing
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-CA-0152
Coding Complete
This is a case about asylum seekers' right to counsel in interviews that determine whether they can remain in the United States during their immigration proceedings. On November 5, 2019, asylum seekers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Southern District of California. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of San Diego, sued the ... [view]
4 O.A. v. Trump
1:18-cv-02718-RDM (D.D.C.)
Filed 11/20/2018 - Case Ongoing
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0059
Coding Complete
On November 20, 2018, a group of asylum seekers challenged the federal government’s latest asylum policy, which prohibited people who enter the United States along the southern border somewhere other than a designated port of entry from obtaining asylum. Specifically, the plaintiffs challenged an interim final rule promulgated on November 9, 2018 ... [view]
5 Dora v. Sessions
1:18-cv-01938 (D.D.C.)
Filed 08/17/2018 - Closed 2019
U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and/or the Border
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
IM-DC-0065
District of Columbia County
Coding Complete
On August 17, 2018, 29 parents who were forcibly separated from their children by the federal government filed this lawsuit in U.S. District Court of District Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Department of Justice for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.), the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 701), the ... [view]
6 Teneng v. Trump
5:18-cv-01609 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 08/01/2018 - Closed
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Prison Conditions
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-CA-0129
Coding Complete
On August 1, 2018, six non-citizens detained at the Federal Correctional Institution Medium II, also called Victorville, filed this putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and the Civil Rights Education Enforcement Center, among others, sued the ... [view]
7 S.A. et al v. Trump
3:18-cv-03539-LB (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 06/13/2018 - Case Ongoing
Department of State
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-CA-0125
Coding Complete
Applicants and beneficiaries of the Central American Minors (CAM) parole program filed this class-action lawsuit on June 13, 2018, challenging the Trump Administration's termination of the program and its revocation of parole for nearly 3,000 children. Seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as that the defendants be equitably estopped, ... [view]
8 Muslim Advocates v. U.S. Department of Justice
3:18-cv-02137-JSC (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 04/09/2018 - Closed 2019
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-CA-0118
Coding Complete
This suit, filed on April 9, 2018, challenged a report created and issued by defendants the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Executive Order 13780: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States required this report, known as the Initial Section 11 Report. Muslim ... [view]
9 Emami v. Nielsen
3:18-cv-01587-JD (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 03/13/2018 - Case Ongoing
United States Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-CA-0140
Coding Complete
This is one of many legal challenges to the series of Trump's executive orders known as the "Travel Ban" or "Muslim Ban." This suit in particular challenged the waiver system that accompanied the ban, which was instated to supposedly prevent the ban from arbitrarily denying people entry into the country. On March 13, 2018, 26 individuals who ... [view]
10 Ms. L. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
3:18-cv-00428 (S.D. Cal.)
Filed 02/26/2018 - Case Ongoing
United States
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-CA-0121
Coding Complete
On February 26, 2018, an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Ms. L.) filed this lawsuit and a writ for habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. 2018 WL 1310160. The plaintiff sued the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland ... [view]
11 Jewish Family Service of Seattle v. Trump
2:17-cv-01707-JLR (W.D. Wash.)
Filed 11/13/2017 - Closed 2019
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-WA-0036
Coding Complete
This action challenged the Trump Administration's third attempt to suspend the United States Refugee Admissions Program (the "USRAP"), a program administered by a consortium of federal agencies and nonprofit organizations working to identify and admit qualified refugees for resettlement into the United States, by issuing the Executive Order on ... [view]
12 Zakzok v. Trump
1:17-cv-02969-GLR (D. Md.)
Filed 10/06/2017 - Case Ongoing
President Donald Trump
DHS, DOS, Elaine Duke, Rex Tillerson
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-MD-0007
Coding Complete
This lawsuit was filed on October 6, 2017 over Section 2 of President Trump’s Sep. 24, 2017 Proclamation ("Executive Order #3" or "EO-3") barring travel to the United States from six Muslim-majority countries. The plaintiffs were U.S. citizens or permanent residents who would not be able to reunite with their family members or who otherwise ... [view]
13 Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump
8:17-cv-02921-GJH (D. Md.)
Filed 10/02/2017 - Case Ongoing
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-MD-0005
Coding Complete
On October 2, 2017, the group Iranian Alliances Across Borders filed this complaint on behalf of a group of plaintiffs of Iranian descent. The suit challenged President Trump's Sept. 24 Proclamation indefinitely restricting travel from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. Otherwise known as EO-3, the proclamation ... [view]
14 Doe v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security
1:17-cv-02005-RCL (D.D.C.)
Filed 09/28/2017 - Closed
Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0037
Coding Complete
On September 28, 2017 plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The complaint was filed by a Syrian family over Executive Order 13780, hereon known as EO-2; the family filed under a pseudonym to protect its members’ identities. In 2004, one of the plaintiffs filed a petition for an ... [view]
15 P.K. v. Tillerson
1:17-cv-01533-TSC (D.D.C.)
Filed 08/03/2017 - Case Ongoing
United States Department of State
United States Department of State
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0031
Coding Complete
On August 3, 2017, a group of diversity lottery winners and their family members filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Secretary of State and consular officials. Represented by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, and private ... [view]
16 Universal Muslim Association of America v. Trump
1:17-cv-00537 (D.D.C.)
Filed 03/24/2017 - Case Ongoing
United States
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0027
Coding Complete
On March 24, 2017, the Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA) and two individual Yemenis filed this lawsuit against President Donald Trump in a challenge to his Mar. 6, 2017 Executive Order (EO) barring legal immigrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely. The ... [view]
17 Doe v. Trump [Voluntarily Dismissed]
3:17-cv-00112 (W.D. Wis.)
Filed 02/13/2017 - Closed 2017
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-WI-0002
Coding Complete
This lawsuit, filed Feb. 13, 2017, challenged President Trump’s Jan. 27, 2017 Executive Order barring legal immigrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely. The complaint argued that in indefinitely barring Syrian refugees, the EO violated the First Amendment, the Fifth ... [view]
18 Pars Equality Center v. Trump
1:17-cv-00255 (D.D.C.)
Filed 02/08/2017 - Closed 2018
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-DC-0026
Coding Complete
This action, filed Feb. 8, 2017, challenged President Trump’s Jan. 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO) ban on admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and it sought "to protect and defend the Iranian-American community in ... [view]
19 Doe v. Trump
2:17-cv-00178 (W.D. Wash.)
Filed 02/07/2017 - Closed 2020
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-WA-0030
Coding Complete
This class action challenged President Trump's January 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO) ban on admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The complaint was filed on Feb. 7, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Counsel for the plaintiffs are the American Civil Liberties ... [view]
20 International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) v. Trump
8:17-cv-00361-TDC (D. Md.)
Filed 02/07/2017 - Case Ongoing
President Donald Trump
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-MD-0004
Coding Complete
On February 7, 2017, five immigrant advocacy organizations and fifteen individual immigrants filed this putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Represented by the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center, the plaintiffs challenged President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order. That order ... [view]
21 State of Hawaii v. Trump
1:17-cv-00050 (D. Haw.)
Filed 02/03/2017 - Closed
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-HI-0004
Coding Complete
The below summary is a condensed version. The full summary can be found here on the Clearinghouse website. Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin filed this lawsuit on Feb. 3, 2017 against President Trump’s Jan. 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO) barring legal ... [view]
22 Zadeh v. Trump [voluntarily dismissed]
1:17-cv-00243 (D.D.C.)
Filed 02/03/2017 - Closed 2017
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-DC-0025
Coding Complete
This action, filed Feb. 3, 2017, challenged President Trump’s Jan. 27, 2017 Executive Order ban on admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Represented by private counsel and several advocacy organizations--the University of Minnesota Center for New Americans and the Immigrant Law Center of ... [view]
23 Al-Mowafak v. Trump
3:17-cv-00557 (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 02/02/2017 - Case Ongoing
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-CA-0088
Coding Complete
This class action was filed on Feb. 2, 2017 in response to President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO) ban on admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of Northern California and private counsel, also challenged the Department of State's Jan. 27 ... [view]
24 Asgari v. Trump [voluntarily dismissed]
1:17-cv-10182 (D. Mass.)
Filed 02/01/2017 - Closed 2017
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-MA-0008
Coding Complete
On Feb. 1, 2017, a J-1 visa holder filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, after being prevented from boarding a flight from Frankfurt to Boston on both Jan. 28. and Jan. 30, 2017. Represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the plaintiff is Iranian-born and lives in Switzerland; she was traveling to Boston to ... [view]
25 Unite Oregon v. Trump [administratively closed]
3:17-cv-00179 (D. Or.)
Filed 02/01/2017 - Closed 2017
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-OR-0005
Coding Complete
This action, filed on Feb. 1, 2017, challenged President Trump’s Jan. 27, 2017 Executive Order ban on admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It was filed as a complaint on behalf of Unite Oregon, a nonprofit organization "led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and ... [view]
< prev 1 2 next >
new search
refine this search

- top of page -