Case: Asali v. DHS

5:17-cv-00447 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Jan. 31, 2017

Closed Date: April 12, 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 31, 2017, a Syrian family that sought to immigrate to the U.S. filed an emergency petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Allentown. Represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and private counsel, the plaintiffs challenged President Trump’s January 27, 2017 executive order (EO-1) banning nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. The plaintiffs argued th…

On January 31, 2017, a Syrian family that sought to immigrate to the U.S. filed an emergency petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Allentown. Represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and private counsel, the plaintiffs challenged President Trump’s January 27, 2017 executive order (EO-1) banning nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. The plaintiffs argued that the federal government's enforcement of EO-1 violated their Fifth Amendment equal protection and due process rights, the First Amendment Establishment Clause, the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. Additionally, the complaint alleged that the government’s actions were in violation of a temporary restraining order issued by the Eastern District of New York on January 28. That order, issued by District Judge Ann Donnelly in Darweesh v. Trump enjoined the government from 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 the seven countries targeted by EO-1 who were legally authorized to enter the U.S.

The plaintiffs in this case were all born in Syria. In 2003, one of the plaintiffs immigrated to the U.S. and later applied for immigrant visas for his two brothers and their families. On December 19, 2016, after waiting thirteen years, the plaintiffs were approved for Permanent Resident visas. On January 28, 2017, plaintiffs arrived at Philadelphia International Airport. Immediately, they were detained and denied access to see their family and speak to counsel. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revoked plaintiffs’ visas and told them that they could either return to Syria or risk arrest; the plaintiffs returned to Syria that day. In addition to CBP, the Department of Homeland Security, the President (in his official capacity), and five unknown government agents (either CBP or state/local law enforcement) were named as defendants.

At the same time the complaint was filed, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to have their visas reinstated and be granted immediate re-entry to the U.S. A hearing on the motion was set for February 8, 2017.

After an intervention by Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA), plaintiffs' lawyers announced that plaintiffs had received approval to enter the United States on February 5, 2017. They left Syria that day and were scheduled to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport the next day. On February 13, after the plaintiffs were admitted to the U.S., the court ordered the case to be stayed for 60 days so that the parties could discuss settlement. The court also denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order without prejudice.

On April 12, 2017, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. The Clearinghouse does not have access to this document so we are unsure if a settlement was eventually reached.

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Jamie Kessler (2/2/2017)

Ava Morgenstern (2/15/2017)

Julie Aust (2/7/2017)

Virginia Weeks (6/19/2017)

Esteban Woo Kee (10/24/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4578550/parties/abou-asali-v-us-department-of-homeland-security-dhs/


Judge(s)

Leeson, Joseph F. Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Diver, Edward (Pennsylvania)

Feinberg, Jonathan H. (Pennsylvania)

Gansallo, Ayodele A (Pennsylvania)

Hohenstein, Joseph C. (Pennsylvania)

Messing, Paul (Pennsylvania)

Roper, Mary Catherine (Pennsylvania)

Tack-Hooper, Molly M. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Darrow, Joseph A. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Leeson, Joseph F. Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Diver, Edward (Pennsylvania)

Feinberg, Jonathan H. (Pennsylvania)

Gansallo, Ayodele A (Pennsylvania)

Hohenstein, Joseph C. (Pennsylvania)

Messing, Paul (Pennsylvania)

Roper, Mary Catherine (Pennsylvania)

Tack-Hooper, Molly M. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Darrow, Joseph A. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Asali v. Department of Homeland Security

April 12, 2017 Docket
3

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, Brief in Support of Motion, and Proposed Order

Asali v. Department of Homeland Security

Jan. 31, 2017 Pleading / Motion / Brief
1

Emergency Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Asali v. Department of Homeland Security

Jan. 31, 2017 Complaint
1-2

Index of Exhibits

Asali v. Department of Homeland Security

Jan. 31, 2017 Pleading / Motion / Brief
11

Order [staying the case and denying TRO without prejudice]

Asali v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Feb. 13, 2017 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Asali v. Trump

American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that suspended all U.S. resettlement of Syrian refugees and banned all nationals from Syria and six other majority-Muslim countries from… Jan. 28, 2017 https://www.aclupa.org/our-work/legal/legaldocket/asali-v-trump/

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4578550/abou-asali-v-us-department-of-homeland-security-dhs/

Last updated May 12, 2022

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

EMERGENCY PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF against KEVIN DONOHUE, JOHN DOES 1−5, JOHN KELLY, KEVIN K. MCALEENAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ("CBP"), U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ("DHS") ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number PPE154092), filed by M.A.A., JOZFIN ALSHAAR, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI, BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service, # 2 Exhibit List, # 3 Civil Cover Sheet)(jmv, ) (Entered: 01/31/2017)

Jan. 31, 2017

Summons Issued

Jan. 31, 2017 PACER
1

EMERGENCY PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF against KEVIN DONOHUE, JOHN DOES 1-5, JOHN KELLY, KEVIN K. MCALEENAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ("CBP"), U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ("DHS") ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number PPE154092), filed by M.A.A., JOZFIN ALSHAAR, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI, BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service, # 2 Exhibit List, # 3 Civil Cover Sheet)(jmv, ) (Entered: 01/31/2017)

Jan. 31, 2017 PACER
2

Disclosure Statement Form pursuant to FRCP 7.1 (jmv, ) (Entered: 01/31/2017)

Jan. 31, 2017
2

Disclosure Statement Form pursuant to FRCP 7.1 (jmv, ) (Entered: 01/31/2017)

Jan. 31, 2017 PACER
3

MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER FILED BY BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI, JOZFIN ALSHAAR, M.A.A.; MEMO IN SUPPORT.(jmv, ) (Entered: 01/31/2017)

Jan. 31, 2017
4

Acceptance of Service by U.S. Attorney Re: accepted summons and complaint on behalf of the United States Attorney (only). (jl, ) (Entered: 02/01/2017)

Feb. 1, 2017
3

MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER FILED BY BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI, JOZFIN ALSHAAR, M.A.A.; MEMO IN SUPPORT.(jmv, ) (Entered: 01/31/2017)

Jan. 31, 2017 PACER
5

NOTICE OF HEARING CONCERNING MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER THAT A TELEPHONE CONFERENCE CALL IS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 2, 2017 FROM 3:00 TO 3:30 P.M. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/01/2017)

Feb. 1, 2017

Set/Reset Hearings

Feb. 1, 2017 PACER

Set Motion and R&R Deadlines/Hearings

Feb. 1, 2017 PACER

Set/Reset Hearings: TELEPHONE CONFERENCE SET FOR 2/2/2017 03:00 PM IN JUDGE CHAMBERS BEFORE HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON JR.. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/01/2017)

Feb. 1, 2017

Set/Reset Deadlines as to 3 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order. MOTION HEARING SET FOR 2/2/2017 03:00 PM IN JUDGE CHAMBERS BEFORE HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON JR.. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/02/2017)

Feb. 1, 2017
4

Acceptance of Service by U.S. Attorney Re: accepted summons and complaint on behalf of the United States Attorney (only). (jl, ) (Entered: 02/01/2017)

Feb. 1, 2017 PACER
6

Minute Entry for proceedings held before HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR re: A Telephone Conference was held on 2/2/17. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/03/2017)

Feb. 3, 2017
5

NOTICE OF HEARING CONCERNING MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER THAT A TELEPHONE CONFERENCE CALL IS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 2, 2017 FROM 3:00 TO 3:30 P.M. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/01/2017)

Feb. 1, 2017 PACER
6

Minute Entry for proceedings held before HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR re: A Telephone Conference was held on 2/2/17. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/03/2017)

Feb. 3, 2017 PACER
7

ORDER THAT A TELEPHONE CONFERENCE IS SCHEDULED FOR 2/8/2017 AT 3:00 P.M. BEFORE THE HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON JR. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR ON 2/3/17. 2/3/17 ENTERED AND COPIES E−MAILED.(ky, ) (Entered: 02/03/2017)

Feb. 3, 2017
8

MOTION TO COMBINE CASES AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT, FILED BY JEFFREY CUTLER.(amas) (Entered: 02/07/2017)

Feb. 6, 2017
7

ORDER THAT A TELEPHONE CONFERENCE IS SCHEDULED FOR 2/8/2017 AT 3:00 P.M. BEFORE THE HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON JR. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR ON 2/3/17. 2/3/17 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(ky, ) (Entered: 02/03/2017)

Feb. 3, 2017 PACER
8

MOTION TO COMBINE CASES AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT, FILED BY JEFFREY CUTLER.(amas) (Entered: 02/07/2017)

Feb. 6, 2017 PACER
9

NOTICE of Appearance by JOSEPH ANTON DARROW on behalf of KEVIN DONOHUE, JOHN DOES 1−5, JOHN KELLY, KEVIN K. MCALEENAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ("CBP"), U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ("DHS") with Certificate of Service(DARROW, JOSEPH) (Entered: 02/08/2017)

Feb. 8, 2017
9

NOTICE of Appearance by JOSEPH ANTON DARROW on behalf of KEVIN DONOHUE, JOHN DOES 1-5, JOHN KELLY, KEVIN K. MCALEENAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ("CBP"), U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ("DHS") with Certificate of Service(DARROW, JOSEPH) (Entered: 02/08/2017)

Feb. 8, 2017 PACER
10

Minute Entry for proceedings held before HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR re: A Telephone Conference was held on 2/8/17. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/10/2017)

Feb. 8, 2017
10

Minute Entry for proceedings held before HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR re: A Telephone Conference was held on 2/8/17. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/10/2017)

Feb. 8, 2017 PACER
11

ORDER THAT THIS CASE IS STAYED FOR A PERIOD OF SIXTY DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER; AND PETITIONERS' MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, ECF NO. 3, IS DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR ON 2/13/17. 2/13/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE' AND E−MAILED. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/13/2017)

Feb. 13, 2017
12

EMERGENCY PETITION by JEFFREY CUTLER OF COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Attachments: # 1 PART 1)(jl, ) (Entered: 02/13/2017)

Feb. 13, 2017
11

ORDER THAT THIS CASE IS STAYED FOR A PERIOD OF SIXTY DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER; AND PETITIONERS' MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, ECF NO. 3, IS DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR ON 2/13/17. 2/13/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE' AND E-MAILED. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/13/2017)

Feb. 13, 2017 RECAP
13

ORDER THAT JEFFREY CUTLER'S MOTION NO. 8 AND EMERGENCY PETITION NO. 12 ARE DENIED. THE CLERK OF COURT IS DIRECTED TO REMOVE JEFFREY CUTLER FROM THIS DOCKET. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR ON 2/14/17.2/14/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE' AND E−MAILED. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/14/2017)

Feb. 14, 2017
12

EMERGENCY PETITION by JEFFREY CUTLER OF COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Attachments: # 1 PART 1)(jl, ) (Entered: 02/13/2017)

Feb. 13, 2017 PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by MOLLY M. TACK−HOOPER on behalf of BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI, JOZFIN ALSHAAR, M.A.A. with Certificate of Service(TACK−HOOPER, MOLLY) (Entered: 04/04/2017)

April 4, 2017
13

ORDER THAT JEFFREY CUTLER'S MOTION NO. 8 AND EMERGENCY PETITION NO. 12 ARE DENIED. THE CLERK OF COURT IS DIRECTED TO REMOVE JEFFREY CUTLER FROM THIS DOCKET. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR ON 2/14/17.2/14/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE' AND E-MAILED. (ky, ) (Entered: 02/14/2017)

Feb. 14, 2017 PACER
16

NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI (HOHENSTEIN, JOSEPH) (Entered: 04/12/2017)

April 12, 2017
14

NOTICE of Appearance by MOLLY M. TACK-HOOPER on behalf of BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI, JOZFIN ALSHAAR, M.A.A. with Certificate of Service(TACK-HOOPER, MOLLY) (Entered: 04/04/2017)

April 4, 2017 PACER
15

NOTICE of Appearance by JONATHAN H. FEINBERG on behalf of BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI, JOZFIN ALSHAAR, M.A.A. (FEINBERG, JONATHAN) (Entered: 04/04/2017)

April 4, 2017 PACER
16

NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by BASAM ABOU ASALI, HASSAN ABOU ASALI, JURJEET ABOU ASALI, SARA ABOU ASALI (HOHENSTEIN, JOSEPH) (Entered: 04/12/2017)

April 12, 2017 PACER

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Special Collection(s):

Trump Travel Ban Challenges

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 31, 2017

Closing Date: April 12, 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs are Syrians who came to the U.S. as Legal Permanent Residents, but were denied admission at the Philadelphia airport and deported.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg, LLP

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Pending

Defendants

United States Customs and Border Protection (Washington D.C.), Federal

United States Department of Homeland Security (Washington D.C.), Federal

Office of the President of the United States (Washington D.C.), Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Free Exercise Clause

Establishment Clause

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Family reunification

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Religion discrimination

Immigration/Border:

Admission - criteria

Admission - procedure

Deportation - criteria

Deportation - judicial review

Deportation - procedure

Family Separation

Visas - criteria

Visas - procedures

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern