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Yemeni Immigrants Reunited with Families in U.S.


Yemeni immigrants unlawfully barred by Trump’s executive order reunited with families in U.S.

After a nine-day ordeal sparked by President Trump’s January 27 executive order on immigration, Tareq and Ammar Aquel Mohammed Aziz, ages 21 and 19, have finally joined their father in the US. As was disclosed on February 3 in a federal court in Virginia, the brothers are two of the estimated 60,000–100,000 people whose valid visas were unlawfully revoked by the executive order, which took effect as the brothers were flying to the United States to live with their father, Aquel Aziz, who is a U.S. citizen residing in Michigan. After arriving on January 28, the brothers were coerced into signing an administrative form withdrawing their application for admission to the United States, and their valid visas were cancelled. Subsequently, they spent more than a week in legal limbo stranded at airports in Addis Ababa and Djibouti. The Al Murisi family of Yemen, who were traveling with their five children, endured a similar ordeal.

The Aziz brothers and Al Murisi family were aided by a team of lawyers from the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) in Virginia and the law firm Mayer Brown, which mobilized quickly after learning that the immigrants were denied entry in the US. The lawyers – Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg from LAJC, and Andy Pincus and Paul Hughes from Mayer Brown – obtained an injunction from a federal judge in Virginia staying the executive order before negotiating the boys’ return to the U.S.

“With the critical assistance of Mayer Brown and CrowdJustice, which has helped raise needed funds, the Aziz brothers and Al Murisi family have finally been permitted to arrive in the United States,” said Sandoval-Moshenberg of the LAJC. “While it’s highly gratifying to have played a role in bringing these families together again, we know other families are facing uncertainty and fear as a result of this executive order and encourage them to seek assistance.”

“The executive branch overreached in this unnecessary and unlawful order,” added Hughes of Mayer Brown. “Thanks to the concerted efforts of dozens of determined lawyers and judges throughout the country, however, the rule of law has been vindicated, and two families from Yemen have been made whole.”

Tim Wallace
Director of Development
Legal Aid Justice Center
Phone: 434.529.1853 (office) and 773.426.5948 (mobile)

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