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S P E C I A L   C O L L E C T I O N
Trump Travel Ban Challenges

This page contains a collection of legal challenges to the Travel Ban executive orders installed by the Trump Administration. (For cases challenging the Trump Administration’s 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.)

Shortly after he was inaugurated, President Trump issued a series of executive orders relating to immigration and refugee policy. The first order on refugees, EO-1, totally barred admission into the United States of all nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen--including those who were already legal green card holders and residing in the US. Legal challenges ensued immediately. EO-1 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 on February 3, 2017, and on Febrary 9, the Ninth 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In response, the President on March 6, 2017, rescinded the refugee order and replaced it with a somewhat narrower one referred to as EO-2. EO-2 was immediately challenged as well; the first case to attack it was Hawaii v. Trump. In that case, on March 15, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii enjoined operation of the EO-2. 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 Ninth and Fourth Circuits, 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 High Court granted review, scheduling oral argument on the merits for October 10, 2017. In the meantime, the Court declined to stay most of the lower courts’ injunctions, but did narrow the preliminary injunctions to protect only would-be visitors/immigrants to the US 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 battled about the scope and meaning of “bona fide relationship” under the Supreme Court’s narrowed injunction. Meanwhile, the travel ban imposed by the EO-2 expired on September 24, 2017. That same day, the Trump Administration signed another proclamation, EO-3, 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 EO-3 and the 90-day ban’s expiration rendered the EO-2 case moot. On October 10, 2017, the Supreme Court determined that EO-2 case no longer presented a live case or controversy, and remanded it to the lower 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 and IRAP enjoined the Trump administration from enforcing its new proclamation nationwide. The federal government immediately appealed both orders and filed motions in the district courts to stay the injunctions pending appeal.

In Hawaii the Ninth Circuit stayed the injunction in its entirety except as to foreign nationals who had a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or an entity in the US. Citing the earlier Ninth Circuit decision, 871 F.3d 646, the court noted that persons with a "bona fide relationship" include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Unsatisfied with this limitation on the district court’s injunction, the Trump Administration appealed to the Supreme Court. In IRAP, the Fourth Circuit ruled on the appeal on February 15, 2018. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction against EO-3. The court found that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of at least some of their claims including those based in the Establishment Clause. In particular, the court found that plaintiffs offered “undisputed evidence” that EO-3 was driven by anti-Muslim bias. That undisputed evidence included “President Trump’s disparaging comments and tweets regarding Muslims; [and] his repeated proposals to ban Muslims from entering the United States.” Although the court found primarily in favor of the plaintiffs, it also found that the district court did not abuse its discretion by limiting the injunction to individuals with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States. As a result of this limitation on the preliminary injunction, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court, seeking to have the case consolidated with Hawaii.

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in Hawaii on April 25, 2018, and issued an order and opinion on June 26. The Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts endorsed a broad view of presidential power, holding that under the Immigration and Nationality Act the President has "broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States” and that here the President "lawfully exercised that discretion.” The majority dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims that the President must explain his findings, calling the argument “questionable” and writing that “the 12-page Proclamation—which thoroughly describes the process, agency evaluations, and recommendations underlying the President’s chosen restrictions—is more detailed than any prior order a President has issued under §1182(f).” As for plaintiff’s Establishment Clause argument, the Court first noted that EO-3's facially neutral policy towards religion forced the Court to take the extra step of probing "the sincerity of the stated justifications for the policy by reference to extrinsic statements—many of which were made before the President took the oath of office.” Applying a rational basis test, the Court found that “the Proclamation is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices. The text says nothing about religion.” 138 S. Ct. 2392.

As a result of this decision, On August 10, 2018, the Ninth Circuit remanded Hawaii to the district court for further proceedings. The plaintiffs gave notice of voluntary dismissal in the district court three days later. On October 2, 2018, the district court issued a formal order that the case was dismissed without prejudice. As for the IRAP plaintiffs, following the Supreme Court ruling, they voluntarily dismissed their Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Refugee Act claims but continued to pursue claims based on violations to the Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution. The plaintiffs were met with some initial success at the district court that led the government to appeal the case back to the Fourth Circuit. On June 8, 2020, the Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the district court “misunderstood the import of the Supreme Court’s decision in Hawaii v. Trump and the legal principles it applied,” and holding that the constitutional claims lacked the plausibility necessary to survive the government’s motion to dismiss.” 961 F. 3d 635.

While these and other cases were moving through federal courts, President Trump issued two other EOs regarding restrictions on entry to the US. Proclamation 9723 (EO-4) modified EO-3 by removing restrictions on entry for nationals of Chad. Proclamation 9983 (EO-5) banned entry for nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and Nigeria as immigrants, and for nationals of Sudan and Tanzania as diversity immigrants until these countries remedied their national security and public safety related information sharing “deficiencies” as determined by the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

In addition to Washington, Hawaii, and IRAP dozens of cases were filed against the original executive order and its later forms. Some cases like Sarsour v. Trump settled or were held moot after President Biden rescinded the Travel Ban EOs upon his inauguration on January 20, 2021. Still, as of August 2021, other cases that were initiated in response to the EOs like Wagafe v. Biden had not been resolved as various plaintiffs continued to seek remedies from DHS and the State Department to the harms they and their family members suffered as a result of the Travel Ban.

We have incorporated the principal cases of travel ban litigation from across the US into the Clearinghouse. Early in the litigation epic, we also posted a spreadsheet of the cases. We’ve kept this up for historical purposes. Please note: The information in the spreadsheet was pulled from the federal court's electronic docket system, PACER--it is preliminary and partial, and may have errors. It is certainly out of date.
The below cases represent a special subset of the full Clearinghouse collection.
Your search returned 38 results Save Search As:       
1 Darchini v. Pompeo
8:19-cv-01417 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 07/22/2019 - Closed 2021
U.S. Department of State
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-CA-0177
Washington D.C.
Coding Complete
On July 22, 2019, fourteen Iranian American families represented by a private immigration lawyer filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief and for a writ of mandamus in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (in Santa Ana) to contest the administrative delays in the adjudication of case-by-case waivers to ... [view]
2 Pars Equality Center v. Pompeo
2:18-cv-01122 (W.D. Wash.)
Filed 07/31/2018 - Case Ongoing
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-WA-0040
Coding Complete
On July 31, 2018, two nonprofit organizations and fifteen individuals filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, challenging the Trump Administration's implementation of the waiver provision of the Travel Ban (Presidential Proclamation No. 9645). The Travel Ban indefinitely banned millions of ... [view]
3 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]
4 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 (EOs) known collectively as the "Travel Ban" or "Muslim Ban." This suit in particular challenged the waiver system that accompanied the ban, which was purportedly instated to prevent the EOs from arbitrarily denying people entry into the country. Twenty six ... [view]
5 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]
6 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]
7 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]
8 Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump
8:17-cv-02921-GJH (D. Md.)
Filed 10/02/2017 - Closed 2020
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]
9 Doe v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security
1:17-cv-02005-RCL (D.D.C.)
Filed 09/28/2017 - Closed 2018
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0037
Coding Complete
This case arose from a Syrian family's attempts to obtain immigration visas. In 2004, one of the family members filed a petition for an immigrant visa on behalf of her sister and her sister’s family. In 2017, the State Department approved the visas just as President Trump issued Executive Order 13780 (EO-2), which barred Syrian nationals from ... [view]
10 P.K. v. Tillerson
1:17-cv-01533-TSC (D.D.C.)
Filed 08/03/2017 - Case Ongoing
U.S. Department of State
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0031
Washington
Coding Complete
A group of diversity visa lottery winners and their family members filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on August 3, 2017. Defendants included the US Secretary of State and consular officials. Plaintiffs were represented by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, ... [view]
11 Universal Muslim Association of America v. Trump
1:17-cv-00537 (D.D.C.)
Filed 03/24/2017 - Closed 2021
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 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a challenge to President Trump’s March 6, 2017, Executive Order barring legal immigrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US and barring ... [view]
12 Doe v. Trump
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 February 13, 2017, challenged President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO-1) barring legal immigrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely. The complaint argued that by indefinitely barring Syrian refugees, EO-1 violated the First Amendment, ... [view]
13 Pars Equality Center v. Trump
1:17-cv-00255 (D.D.C.)
Filed 02/08/2017 - Closed 2018
President of the U.S.
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-DC-0026
Washington D.C.
Coding Complete
This action, filed February 8, 2017, challenged President Trump’s January 27, 2017, Executive Order (EO-1) ban on admission to the US 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 ... [view]
14 Doe v. Trump
2:17-cv-00178 (W.D. Wash.)
Filed 02/07/2017 - Closed 2020
U.S. Department of State
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-WA-0030
Washington D.C.
Coding Complete
This class action challenged President Trump's January 27, 2017, Executive Order (EO-1) which prohibited admission to the US for nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The plaintiffs commenced this lawsuit on February 7, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The plaintiffs were ... [view]
15 International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) v. Trump
8:17-cv-00361-TDC (D. Md.)
Filed 02/07/2017 - Closed 2020
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 class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (in Greenbelt). Represented by the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center, the plaintiffs challenged President Trump’s January 27, 2017, executive order (EO) ... [view]
16 State of Hawaii v. Trump
1:17-cv-00050 (D. Haw.)
Filed 02/03/2017 - Closed 2018
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 February 3, 2017 against President Trump’s Jan. 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO-1) barring ... [view]
17 Zadeh v. Trump
1:17-cv-00243 (D.D.C.)
Filed 02/03/2017 - Closed 2017
Office of the President of the U.S.
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-DC-0025
Washington D.C.
Coding Complete
This action, filed February 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]
18 Al-Mowafak v. Trump
3:17-cv-00557 (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 02/02/2017 - Closed 2019
Office of the President of the U.S.
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-CA-0088
Washington D.C.
Coding Complete
This class action was filed on Feb. 2, 2017 in response to President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO-1) ban on admission to the US 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]
19 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]
20 Asgari v. Trump
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]
21 Azimi v. Trump [Voluntarily dismissed]
1:17-cv-00096 (W.D.N.Y.)
Filed 01/31/2017 - Closed 2017
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-NY-0054
Coding Complete
On January 31, 2017, two F1 student visa holders, represented by the NYU Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, after being detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon their arrival at the Buffalo Port of Entry on the evening of January 31, 2017 ... [view]
22 Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL) v. Trump
2:17-cv-10310 (E.D. Mich.)
Filed 01/31/2017 - Closed 2021
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-MI-0004
Coding Complete
On January 31, 2017, the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACLR) and seven of its individual members filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (in Detroit). The plaintiffs sued President Trump, the Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection under the Declaratory Judgment Act (28 ... [view]
23 Mohammed v. Trump
2:17-cv-00786-AB-PLA (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 01/31/2017 - Closed 2018
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-CA-0087
Coding Complete
On January 31, 2017, this class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, to challenge President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO) banning admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The suit alleged that the EO illegally targeted Muslims ... [view]
24 Asali v. DHS
5:17-cv-00447 (E.D. Pa.)
Filed 01/31/2017 - Closed 2017
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-PA-0014
Coding Complete
On January 31, 2017, the ACLU of Pennsylvania and other counsel filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of a group of Syrian-born U.S. would-be immigrants. The action challenged President Trump’s January 27, 2017 executive order banning nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, ... [view]
25 Al Homssi v. Trump
1:17-cv-00801 (N.D. Ill.)
Filed 01/31/2017 - Closed 2017
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
IM-IL-0019
Coding Complete
This action, filed Jan. 31, 2017, challenges 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. The complaint alleges that in preventing the plaintiff, a Syrian national with a valid U.S. visa, from returning to the U.S. pursuant to the EO, the ... [view]
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