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Congressman Jim Costa

Representing the 16th District of California

Los Banos Community Welcomes Home Eman Ali

Feb 11, 2017
Press Release

Merced, CA – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) joined the Los Banos community in welcoming home Eman Ali. Rep. Costa and Ahmed Ali’s immigration attorney, Katy Lewis, released the following statements:

“It was very special to meet Eman and see her reunited with her family,” said Rep. Jim Costa. “The outpouring of support that the Ali family has received from the Los Banos community has been both remarkable and inspirational. It’s amazing how Eman’s journey, which originated from a desire to shut people out and invoke divisiveness, is instead bringing our community together.” 

Costa continued saying, “I applaud the ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to block President Trump’s executive order to ban travel to the United States. The executive order is flawed, both in its lack of adherence to American values and in its technical execution, and could be ruled unconstitutional. Given the court ruling, President Trump should take the opportunity to work with Congress to implement a revised executive order that maintains American values, adheres to protections under the constitution, and strengthens Americans’ security.”  

"Due to the unconstitutional and un-American executive order issued on January 27th, my client, 12-year-old Eman Ali and her U.S. citizen father Ahmed Ali were stranded in Djibouti and faced great uncertainty,” said Katy Lewis, the Ali’s immigration attorney. “However, as a result of the Seattle District Court Judge's order on February 3, Eman and Ahmed were able to travel to and enter the United States, arriving at SFO on Sunday, February 5. The smile on Eman's face as she stepped on U.S. soil for the first time in this long journey was truly inspiring. We are thrilled that Eman Ali is now a U.S. citizen and is reunited with her U.S. citizen parents and siblings in Los Banos, California. I believe that Eman's case demonstrates just how ill-conceived and harmful this executive order truly is; instead of protecting American citizens, it is separating American citizens from their families. This country enjoys immense religious and ethnic diversity, and such diversity is a great strength of the nation. The executive order banning individuals from entering the United States based on national origin and religion betrays the fundamental values that make America great."

On February 9th, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled to continue to block President Donald Trump’s executive order to keep people from Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, and Libya from entering the United States.

When Eman and Ahmed were stuck in Djibouti, Rep. Costa spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to urge the President to let Eman be reunited with her family in the United States. A video of Rep. Costa’s speech can be viewed here