That one sentence, nearly a year in coming, allows one of CLCMA’s clients to finally reunite with his wife and two small children after the actions of DHS forced their involuntary separation.
This client has been a United States citizen his entire life, due to his father being a United States citizen and his grandfather before that. His young children are U.S. citizens as well, because of his citizenship. He and his wife have tried for approximately two years now to get a visa for her so that the whole family could live here in the United States together. In the meantime, they spent their time together overseas, and he flew back to the United States as needed for work.
Unfortunately, almost a year ago now, our U.S. citizen client found himself on the No Fly List. While that on its own is bad enough, for him it meant that he had to stay in the United States, while his wife and two small children remained on another continent. The separation was heartbreaking for all and difficult if not impossible to explain to his young kids, whom he could now only “see” over Skype.
And though he immediately filed a Traveler’s Redress complaint with DHS, he got no information from DHS other than confirmation that he was, in fact, on the No Fly list – which he already knew, from not being able to fly to his family.
He sought the help of the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America (“CLCMA”), which immediately began communications with the attorneys at DHS and TSA on his behalf, and also pushed for an answer through the TRIP process. When DHS failed to respond within its own timelines, CLCMA filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., seeking an order from that court to force DHS to respond to the TRIP complaint and follow the procedures DHS had put in place itself.
On March 26, 2019, approximately nine months after he started the DHS TRIP complaint process, and not long before the government’s response to his federal court lawsuit was due, he got the news he had been waiting for: he is now OFF the No Fly list!
The government has still not provided him with any explanation as to why he was placed on the No Fly List in the first place, or what changed that caused a new result (other than his representation by attorneys, and their actions on his behalf in the courts and throughout the administrative process).
But that’s not what matters most right now.
What matters most right now is that he now has a letter, on DHS letterhead, to specifically reassure him that “You have been removed from the No Fly List.”
And that means he will finally be able to reunite with his family.
While he still hopes his family can eventually be together in the United States once his wife gets a visa, he is happy that now he can go to them.
The family’s long ordeal of being forced by DHS to remain separated, because DHS won’t grant his wife a visa to come here and wouldn’t let him fly to his family, is over.
His family can reunite.
He can hold his wife and kids again.
Because he has been removed from the No Fly List.