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CNN producer detained in Atlanta files lawsuit against immigration order 


An Atlanta news producer and Iraqi national filed a federal lawsuit challenging an executive order.

A CNN editor and producer who was detained Sunday at Atlanta's airport has filed a federal lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's immigration order.

Mohammed Tawfeeq is an Iraqi national who has been a permanent legal resident of the United States since 2013.

As an editor, Tawfeeq frequently travels to the Middle East as part of his reporting duties, the lawsuit states.

Tawfeeq was detained Sunday at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where he was subjected to additional screening that delayed his entry into the United States. 

RELATED: Congressmen: 11 held at Atlanta airport after Trump’s executive order

RELATED: Refugees arrive in Atlanta despite Trump ban

Defendants used Trump's recent executive order to unlawfully detain Tawfeeq, who is a legal permanent resident of the U.S., an immigrant from Iraq, an award-winning Middle Eastern journalist and the current manager of CNN's International Desk, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit, filed against the U.S. departments of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies, seeks a declaration of Tawfeeq’s rights under the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

The suits states that applying this executive order to lawful permanent residents or green card holders returning after a brief trip abroad violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the U.S. Constitution.

“The executive order has greatly increased the uncertainty involved in current and future international travel for returning lawful permanent residents like Mr. Tawfeeq,” the lawsuit states.

In a statement, CNN spokeswoman Bridget Leininger said: “This is a basic request to clarify and assert his rights under the law. We support him in this effort and hope its resolved quickly.”

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