Despite the recently redoubled efforts to prevent new Middle Eastern immigrants from entering the country, one family of Syrian refugees beat Donald Trump's travel ban this week to reunite in their new home in Wisconsin. A federal judge ruled Friday on behalf of a Syrian man, who has remained anonymous to protect his safety, trying to bring his wife and 3-year-old daughter to safety in the United States. The ruling could be a crucial legal precedent to the long-term challenge against the ban, and an important step to helping refugees escape the political turmoil in Syria in the short term.
U.S. District Judge William Conley issued the temporary restraining order to prevent the travel ban from blocking refugees for 120 days. The basis for the ruling was the "irreparable harm" that could be done to the family if they were left in Aleppo for much longer. According to the lawsuit filed on behalf of the refugee, he was targeted by multiple factions in Syria who threatened to murder his family and sexually assault his wife.
CBS News reported that the woman and child are soon headed to Jordan for visa interviews at the U.S. Embassy there. It's their last step before U.S. customs officials decide whether to issue them visas, but that process could be stalled again depending on pending legal action by the Justice Department.
The ruling doesn't cover the entire ban, just the one family — however, it does potentially give other refugees in similar positions a place to start a legal challenge of their own. Given that much of the Syrian population is being persecuted in some way, by either the pro-Assad regime or the rebel forces, other refugees could use the "irreparable harm" argument to get themselves or their families to the United States. Should the legal argument prove consistently successful, it could be the basis for a permanent turnover of the executive order.
The refugee family's case will continue with another hearing on March 21, but they may be able to reunite by that time. According to CNN, the revised travel ban goes into effect on March 16, which could complicate the matter However, if the U.S. Embassy does issue the wife and daughter visas, there should be no further complications to their entering the country. This is a win for all those opposing Trump's travel ban, and a huge victory for the family that will hopefully be reunited in their safe, new home.