Immigrants' Rights

ACLU of Massachusetts and other civil rights groups file suit on behalf of UMass professors detained at Logan Airport

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2017

CONTACT:
Aaron Wolfson, media relations specialist, 617-482-3170 x310, awolfson@aclum.org

BOSTON — The ACLU of Massachusetts and leading Massachusetts immigration lawyers tonight filed suit in Federal District Court in Massachusetts, seeking the release of two lawful permanent residents of the United States who are being unlawfully held at Logan Airport as a consequence of an executive order by President Trump.

Both petitioners, Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam, are lawful permanent residents of the United States, associate professors at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Iranian nationals and Muslims. They landed at Logan Airport at approximately 5:30 pm on January 28, 2017, and, on information and belief, have been detained since then.

According to the ACLU of Massachusetts complaint, the professors “have a constitutional right to return home to the United States after a brief trip abroad, and cannot be deprived of their lawful permanent status without justification and due process protections.”

The ACLU of Massachusetts suit was filed just moments after a Federal District Court Judge in the Eastern District of New York granted a Stay of Removal on behalf of two Iraqi nationals and others “similarly situated” who have been cleared to enter the United States, in another lawsuit filed by the ACLU. The Massachusetts challenge was filed by the ACLU of Massachusetts’ legal director Matthew Segal, along with Kerry E. Doyle, Esq. of Grave & Doyle, and Susan Church of Demissie & Church.

“President Trump’s executive order violates the due process, religious liberty and equal protection clauses of the Constitution,” said Segal. “It is part of a widespread policy and practice applied to many refugees and arriving aliens detained after the issuance of Trump’s executive order on Friday night.”

Learn more about the case and access legal documents.

View the Eastern District of New York stay order.

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