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Congressman Jim Costa

Representing the 16th District of California

Rep. Costa Looks Forward to Welcome Home for Eman Ali

Feb 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after his constituent Ahmed Ali, and Mr. Ali's 12-year-old daughter, Eman, boarded a plane in Frankfurt that is en route to San Francisco, California. They are expected to land at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) after 4:00pm. Mr. Ali and Eman began their travels to the United States when U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled to temporarily block President Trump's executive order to ban individuals from Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan from entering the United States. They had been waiting in Djibouti after being told that Eman could not board a plane to the United States because of President Trump's executive order. Mr. Ali, his wife, and their two other children are U.S. citizens and Los Banos residents. Eman was born in Yemen, and after a thorough vetting process, she was issued an immigrant visa in January. 

"I am thrilled to know that Eman and her father are on their way home and hours from being reunited with their family,” said Rep. Costa. “Eman, a 12 year-old-girl with U.S. citizen parents, was stuck in Djibouti with her father in harms way for a week because of President Trump’s flawed executive order. Banning the travel of individuals, like Eman, who have gone through a rigorous vetting process from entering the United States is not the American way and could be ruled unconstitutional.”

Costa continued saying, “U.S. District Court Judge Robart’s ruling to temporarily suspend the executive order gives the Administration and Congress an opportunity to fully assess the executive order and its impacts on American citizens, legal permanent residents, and refugees. Since September 11, 2001, there has been a strong bipartisan consensus to implement policies to keep Americans safe, and part of that effort includes a long and rigorous process to obtain an immigrant visa. In Eman’s case, she went through six years of thorough vetting. It is my first constitutional duty to ensure American safety, and clearly, Eman, a 12-year-old girl with American parents, is not a dangerous threat to our country. A revised executive order must not conflict with protections under the United States constitution.” 

On February 4th, the Department of Justice filed a motion for a stay of the temporary restraining order, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the emergency stay request. The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James Robart will remain in place.