A group of 36 U.S. citizens, immigrants, and foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are moving forward with a lawsuit over the Trump administration’s alleged refusal to grant waivers to the president’s travel ban.
There’s evidence that only two waivers have been granted out of 8,406 travel ban-subject visa applications processed between Dec. 8, 2017, and Jan. 8, 2018, a rate of 0.02 percent, a federal judge in California said Feb. 4. A former consular officer also submitted a declaration that officers weren’t allowed discretion to grant or deny a waiver, and instead had to turn the decision over to State Department headquarters in Washington.
Instead, the complaint objects to what it says is a policy of blanket waiver denials, which would violate State Department procedures, Donato said. That’s something that the court can look into.
The ban affects both family-based immigrants and those seeking employment-based visas. One of the immigrants bringing the lawsuit is an Iranian national who had invested the required $500,000 to obtain an EB-5 immigrant investor visa, but was denied a waiver from the travel ban.
The case is Emami v. Nielsen, 2019 BL 36039, N.D. Cal., No. 3:18-cv-01587, 2/4/19.