January 29, 2017

MONTPELIER – Yesterday, the ACLU won multiple, nationwide injunctions barring the Trump administration from removing refugees and permanent residents detained at airports around the country. A federal judge in New York issued the first injunction, while similar orders were obtained in ACLU actions filed in California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

The first injunction, issued by Federal District Court Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn, states that the government is “enjoined and restrained from, in any manner, removing individuals with refugee applications approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and other individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen legally authorized to enter the United States.” 

Additionally, a federal court in Virginia issued a restraining order requiring that permanent residents detained at Dulles International Airport have access to lawyers and not be removed from the country. A judge in Washington state issued another stay, preventing detained travelers from being returned to their home country. And in Boston, the ACLU obtained a similar order early Sunday morning, after suing for the release of two University of Massachusetts professors, both Iranian nationals who are permanent residents of the United States.

The ACLU of Vermont is monitoring the impact of these developments locally, and urging members of the public to immediately report to the ACLU any problems they encounter at Vermont Ports of Entry—including information related to any individuals detained by U.S. immigration officials. Any clear or potential rights violations should be reported via email at [email protected] or by calling (802) 223-6304.  The ACLU is also directing people to review important Know Your Rights information available on the ACLU’s website,, or at

The ACLU will be attending rallies for immigrant rights in cities across the country, including in Burlington today and in Montpelier on Wednesday.

ACLU of Vermont Executive Director James Lyall: “These injunctions represent a huge victory for hundreds of impacted individuals and for the rule of law. The ACLU stands ready to turn back any efforts by the Trump administration to bypass the constitution or violate civil rights. We also stand in solidarity with local communities rallying in support of refugees and in defense of our best traditions as a nation of immigrants.”



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