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Syrian Refugee Files Lawsuit To Bring His Family To Wisconsin

'John Doe' Fled War-Torn Country, Wants His Family To Join Him In US

A Syrian refugee living in Wisconsin has filed a federal lawsuit to grant his wife and young daughter asylum. The lawsuit alleges President Donald Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven countries is unconstitutional.

The plaintiff is referred to as “John Doe” in order to protect his wife and 3-year-old daughter who are still in Aleppo, Syria. He had applied for “Derivative Asylum” for them to join him in the United States, but his lawsuit says processing was halted Jan. 27, when Trump temporarily stopped immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Doe came to Dane County in 2016 after having been tortured and imprisoned in Syria, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also states his 3-year-old son fell three floors to his death in 2015 while attempting to escape rocket fire that hit their home.

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The man’s lawyer, Andrei Vrabie, of the New York-based law firm of Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, said his client has “already lost his little son” and now faces the prospect of his wife and daughter dying as well.

“The only thing that keeps him going now is the hope that he’ll be reunited with them,” Vrabie said.

The man’s application remains in limbo despite a federal court halting most of Trump’s order.

Vrabie said last week’s court decision suspending the ban hasn’t helped people like his client because it does not apply to pending applications for what are known as “Follow to Join” visas.

“Notwithstanding the temporary restraining order put into place by the court in Seattle and affirmed by the 9th District Circuit, notwithstanding those pronouncements of the judiciary, the State Department is not issuing these visas any longer consistent with the executive order,” Vrabie said