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People blocked by Trump's travel ban can reapply for visas, settlement says

President Donald Trump's first travel ban was issued

President Donald Trump's first travel ban was issued in January and blocked people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Michael B. Thomas

The federal government must notify every person who was blocked from entering the United States after President Donald Trump’s first travel ban of their right to reapply for visas and provide a list of resources to help them, according to a Brooklyn federal court settlement announced Thursday.

A class action against the January executive order was filed in the wake of chaos at airports in New York City and nationally when the government, with little warning, started blocking visitors from seven majority Muslim countries. It was filed in the name of Hamid Darweesh, an Iraqi interpreter who had aided the U.S. military.

The ban was eventually found unconstitutional. In its place, the administration established a narrower set of restrictions that also have been stalled by legal challenges.

Under the settlement, the government agreed to process new visa applications from those who were turned away in the initial wave within 90 days, and establish a point of contact at the Department of Justice to expedite the process.

Lee Gelernt, an ACLU lawyer who helped spearhead the litigation, said in a statement, “Although the government dragged its feet for far too long, it has finally agreed to do the right thing and provide those excluded under the first Muslim ban with proper notice of their right to come to the United States.”

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