Louhghalam v. Trump, Civil Action No. 17–10154–NMG

Citation230 F.Supp.3d 26
Decision Date03 February 2017
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 17–10154–NMG
Parties Arghavan LOUHGHALAM et al., Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. TRUMP, President of the United States, et al., Defendants.
CourtUnited States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts

230 F.Supp.3d 26

Arghavan LOUHGHALAM et al., Plaintiffs,
Donald J. TRUMP, President of the United States, et al., Defendants.

Civil Action No. 17–10154–NMG

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts.

Signed February 3, 2017

230 F.Supp.3d 30

Adriana Lafaille, Matthew Segal, Jessie J. Rossman, Sarah R. Wunsch, American Civil Liberties Union, Elizabeth B. Burnett, Michael S. Gardener, Susan M. Finegan, Andrew Nathanson, Peter A. Biagetti, Susan J. Cohen, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC, Kerry E. Doyle, Graves & Doyle, Boston, MA, Derege B. Demissie, Susan B. Church, Heather Yountz, Demissie & Church, Cambridge, MA, for Plaintiffs.

Katherine J. Shinners, Joshua S. Press, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation—District Court Section, Washington, DC, Rayford A. Farquhar, Michael P. Sady, United States Attorney's Office, Boston, MA, for Defendants.


GORTON, United States District Judge

This Court was initially asked 1) to issue a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of by Arghavan Louhghalam and Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni, lawful permanent residents who were detained at Boston Logan International Airport ("Logan") for several hours upon arrival from an academic conference outside the United States and 2) to declare unlawful Executive Order 13,769, promulgated by the President of the United States.

Late in the evening on January 28, 2017, United States District Judge Allison D. Burroughs and United States Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein held a hearing on a motion of Louhghalam and Tootkaboni for a temporary restraining order. Following that hearing, Judge Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Dein entered a temporary restraining order ("TRO") that, inter alia , prohibits the detention and/or removal of individuals with approved refugee applications who would be legally admitted to the United States in absence of the Executive Order. That TRO is set to expire on Sunday, February 5, 2017.

Following entry of the TRO a flurry of activity has resulted in the filing of an amended complaint wherein five other Iranian nationals and Oxfam America, Inc. are named as additional plaintiffs and the allowance of a motion by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts to intervene as plaintiffs. Now pending before this session is the informal motion of all of the plaintiffs to continue in force the subject TRO which defendant opposes. Oral argument on that motion was heard earlier today.

I. Background

A. The Parties

Habeas petitioners Tootkaboni and Louhghalam are Iranian nationals, Muslim and lawful permanent residents of the United States. Both are currently employed as Associate Professors at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth. They

230 F.Supp.3d 31

were each detained for nearly four hours at Logan Airport on January 28, 2017, without access to counsel, after returning from an academic conference outside the country.

The five other individual plaintiffs are Iranian nationals and Muslim. Three of them, Babak Yaghoubi Moghadam, his sister, Fatemeh Yaghoubi Moghadam, and Ali Sanie are also lawful permanent residents. Plaintiffs Zahrasadat Mirrazi Renani and Leily Amirsardary are in the United States on valid F–1 student visas. Plaintiff Oxfam America Inc. is a subsidiary of a worldwide non-profit organization that promotes policy reform in the United States and abroad with respect to global poverty.

Defendants in this case are President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, United States Customs and Border Protection ("CBP"), Kevin K. McAleen, the Acting Commissioner of the CBP, William Mohalley, the Boston Field Director of the CPB, and the Department of Homeland Security and its Secretary, John Kelly. Each individual defendant is sued in his official capacity.

B. The Executive Order

On January 27, 2017, the President of the United States Donald J. Trump, issued Executive Order No. 13,769 entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" ("EO"). The EO directs changes to the policy and process of admitting non-citizens into the United States purportedly to protect national security and to provide a period of review for relevant agencies to evaluate current procedures and to propose and implement new procedures.

The changes in immigration procedure relevant to this action are as follows. The EO suspends for 90 days entry of immigrants and non-immigrants from seven countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Exec. Order 13,769 § 3(c). The EO also suspends, for 120 days, the United States Refugee Admission Program ("USRAP"). Id. § 5(b). The order directs, after the suspension on USRAP ends, that the Secretary of State prioritize applicants on the basis of religious-based persecution

provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality.


On February 1, 2017, White House counsel issued a clarification to the Acting Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security that Sections 3(c) and 3(e) do not apply to lawful permanent residents.

C. The Immigration and Nationality Act

The Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), 8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq. , was originally enacted in 1952 and has been amended several times, including in 1996 by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act ("IIRIRA"). The INA governs immigration, naturalization, refugee assistance and removal procedures and defines the circumstances that govern the admission of aliens into the United States.

The relevant provision of the INA provides that:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry
230 F.Supp.3d 32
of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

8 U.S.C. § 1182(f).

D. Procedural History

As described above, petitioners Tootkaboni and Louhghalam filed a writ of habeas corpus on January 28, 2017. In the middle of a weekend night, following a hearing, Judge Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Dein, the assigned emergency district and magistrate judges, respectively, entered a TRO preventing individuals subject to the EO from being detained or removed upon arrival at Logan. The TRO also directed petitioners to file an amended complaint and scheduled a hearing to occur prior to the expiration of that order. The matter was randomly assigned to this judicial officer who, accordingly, scheduled a hearing with respect to the continuance of the TRO.

II. Continuance of the TRO

A. Legal Standard

In order to obtain a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order, the moving party must establish 1) a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, 2) the potential for irreparable harm if the injunction is withheld, 3) a favorable balance of hardships and 4) the effect on the public interest. Jean v. Mass. State Police , 492 F.3d 24, 26–27 (1st Cir. 2007) ; Quincy Cablesys., Inc. v. Sully's Bar, Inc. , 640 F.Supp. 1159, 1160 (D. Mass. 1986). Of these factors, the likelihood of success on the merits "normally weighs heaviest on the decisional scales." Coquico, Inc. v. Rodriguez–Miranda , 562 F.3d 62, 66 (1st Cir. 2009).

The Court may accept as true "well-pleaded allegations [in the complaint] and uncontroverted affidavits." Rohm & Haas Elec. Materials, LLC v. Elec. Circuits , 759 F.Supp.2d 110, 114, n.2 (D. Mass. 2010) (quoting Elrod v. Burns , 427 U.S. 347, 350, n.1, 96 S.Ct. 2673, 49 L.Ed.2d 547 (1976) ). The Court may also rely on otherwise inadmissible evidence, including hearsay. See Asseo v. Pan Am. Grain Co., Inc. , 805 F.2d 23, 26 (1st Cir. 1986). Ultimately, the issuance of preliminary injunctive relief is "an extraordinary and drastic remedy that is never awarded as of right." Peoples Fed. Sav. Bank v. People's United Bank , 672 F.3d 1, 8–9 (1st Cir. 2012) (quoting Voice of the Arab World, Inc. v. MDTV Med. News Now, Inc. , 645 F.3d 26, 32 (1st Cir. 2011) ).

The Court may extend temporary injunctive relief upon a showing of good cause. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(2).

B. Application

1. The claims for injunctive relief by the lawful permanent residents

On February 1, 2017, the White House distributed a memorandum to the Acting Secretary of State, the Acting Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security clarifying that Sections 3(c) and 3(e) of the EO do not apply to lawful permanent residents.

That memorandum comports with the language of the Section 3(c) which temporarily suspends "entry" of aliens from the seven...

To continue reading

Request your trial
6 cases
  • Washington v. Trump
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 17 mars 2017
    ...any hindrance to first parties' "ability to protect [their] own interests" here. Id. ; see also Louhghalam v. Trump , ––– F.Supp.3d ––––, 2017 WL 479779 (D. Mass. Feb. 3, 2017) (reviewing constitutional claims arising from Executive Order 13769 brought by Iranian nationals who are employed ......
  • Me. Forest Prods. Council v. Cormier
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maine
    • 18 février 2022
    ...However, "[t]here is no constitutionally protected interest in either obtaining or continuing to possess a visa." Louhghalam v. Trump , 230 F. Supp. 3d 26, 35 (D. Mass. 2017). "The due process guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment ‘attaches only when the federal government seeks to deny a liber......
  • Aziz v. Trump, 1:17–cv–116 (LMB/TCB)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Virginia
    • 13 février 2017
    ...only to the text of the EO, but the court did not explain why it did not consider any other evidence. See 230 F.Supp.3d 26, 33–35, 2017 WL 479779, at *4–*5 (D. Mass 2017).9 Similar concerns were raised in one of the wartime detention cases, Boumediene v. Bush , 553 U.S. 723, 831, 128 S.Ct. ......
  • Me. Forest Prods. Council v. Cormier
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maine
    • 18 février 2022
    ...“The due process guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment ‘attaches only when the federal government seeks to deny a liberty or property interest.'” Id. Knoetze v. U.S. Dep't of State, 634 F.2d 207, 211 (5th Cir. 1981)). “A non-citizen has no ‘inherent property right in an immigrant visa.'” Id. (q......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT