A coalition of Muslim and Iranian-American advocates and a nonpartisan legal institute filed the first lawsuits against the Trump administration’s new travel restrictions for citizens of eight countries, including Iran, that were announced late last month.
The suits were filed Monday in federal courts in New York and Maryland.
The Trump administration in September announced the most recent restrictions, which affect citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. They are to go into effect Oct. 18.
One lawsuit, filed Monday night in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Maryland on behalf of the Iranian Alliance Across Borders and six individuals, argues that restricting travel for citizens of predominantly Muslim countries violates the U.S. Constitution.
A second suit, filed hours earlier in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, seeks to compel the State Department to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request and turn over documents submitted to the White House by the Department of Homeland Security detailing the information-sharing practices of foreign countries and justifying the decision to exclude travelers from select countries.
The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. The White House referred questions to the State Department, which declined to comment on ongoing litigation.