Citizens from the seven countries who had proper documentation to enter the U.S. but were blocked after President Trump issued an executive order in January banning travel from those nations will be able to reapply for visas, according to a settlement in a case filed by two Iraqi nationals.
Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi filed a class-action lawsuit after being detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York shortly after the Jan. 27 order went into effect.
The government will now issue letters to those who were denied entry in the first travel ban to let them know they can reapply. Approximately 20 people are eligible for the process, a Justice Department official told the Washington Examiner.
The letters will include a list of legal service providers who will work pro bono with applicants to assist them in resubmitting visas.
The settlement states those who "provided contact information in visa applications" and "applied for admission at a port of entry in the United States, were found inadmissible solely as a result of the Executive Order, withdrew their applications for admission, and since their withdrawal have neither entered the US nor sought a visa for future travel to the US" will be contacted.
The American Civil Liberties Union celebrated the news.
"Although the government dragged its feet for far too long, it has finally agreed to do the right thing and provide those excluded under the first Muslim ban with proper notice of their right to come to the United States," Lee Gelernt, ACLU's deputy director for the Immigration Rights Project, said in a news release.
The Justice Department will assign a liaison to oversee the new application process for the three months after letters are sent out.
The Supreme Court approved parts of Trump's revised travel ban executive order in June and will hear oral arguments on the case in October.