A Travel Ban, a CNN Producer, a Lawsuit

By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2017 2:29 PM CST

(Newser) – A Trump administration official has called the president's travel ban a "massive success," but a CNN employee may beg to differ. Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mohammed Tawfeeq—an Iraqi national and permanent legal US resident who's an editor and producer for the news network—was held at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Sunday evening as he returned after being on assignment in Iraq. Now Tawfeeq, who's enjoyed permanent resident status since 2013, is suing the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies for his detention, which the suit says was illegal. Per Courthouse News, Tawfeeq was returning to the US from Baghdad (he travels to the Middle East often for work) on Jan. 29 when a US Customs and Border Protection officer pulled him aside.

Tawfeeq's green card and passport were examined, he was interrogated about his trip, and he was told he'd need to wait for "an email" from the proper authorities to clear him to enter the country. When he was finally allowed to leave, no one offered further explanation, and they didn't even stamp his passport or give him any entry papers. "The executive order has greatly increased the uncertainty involved in current and future international travel" for legal resident such as Tawfeeq, the suit claims, per the Hill. It also adds that, as a legal permanent resident, he should be afforded "greater procedural protections than non-immigrants/temporary aliens." A CNN rep says the network supports Tawfeeq and that his complaint "is a basic request to clarify and assert his rights under the law," per the Hill. (Read more Trump travel ban stories.)

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