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Mayer Brown helps reunite Yemeni families victimized by executive order on immigration

6 February 2017

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 United States. Mayer Brown and the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) in Virginia represented the family and mobilized quickly after learning that the immigrants were denied entry in the US.

The brothers’ valid visas were unlawfully revoked by the executive order, which took effect as they were flying to the US to live with their father, Aquel Aziz, who is a US 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 US, 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 legal team, which included DC-based Mayer Brown Litigation & Dispute Resolution partners Andrew Pincus and Paul Hughes, and LAJC’s Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, obtained an injunction from a federal judge in Virginia staying the executive order before successfully negotiating the boys’ return to the US.

“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 Mr. 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 Mr. 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.”

Related Information

  • Related People
    Andrew J. Pincus
    T +1 202 263 3220
    Paul W. Hughes
    T +1 202 263 3147
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