- Date of Incident
- January 29, 2017
- Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN)
- Case number
- Case Status
- Type of case
CNN producer’s lawsuit dismissed following changes to executive order
CNN producer Mohammed Tawfeeq’s lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection was dismissed on Aug. 11, 2017.
According to the lawsuit, reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, Tawfeeq was returning to the United States on Jan. 29 after completing an assignment for CNN in northern Iraq. When he passed through primary inspection a CBP officer informed him that he could be refused entry under then-President Donald Trump’s recently-signed executive order restricting the entry of citizens from certain Middle Eastern and African countries.
“That CBP official scanned his passport and green card, asked him why he was in Iraq for such a long period of time, asked whether his trip to Iraq was for business or to visit family, and asked what he did for a living,” the lawsuit says. “He was then sent to secondary inspection.”
After a 30-minute wait and additional questioning, officers allowed Tawfeeq to enter the U.S. but did not provide him an explanation for their decision or documents relating to his entry, nor did they stamp his passport.
Tawfeeq filed his lawsuit the following day, on Jan. 30, challenging the legality of the executive order and concern of future harm. District Court Judge Timothy Batten granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss on Aug. 11, ruling that Tawfeeq’s claims were rendered moot by the revised executive order issued in March.
Mohammed Tawfeeq, a CNN editor and producer, was detained Sunday at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and subjected to secondary screening while returning from an assignment on Jan. 29, 2017.
Tawfeeq, an Iraqi who is a legal permanent resident of the U.S., has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the president's executive order was used to unlawfully detain him, reports said.