I asked Ouasanfi whether the temporary nature of Trump’s action made it less burdensome. “If my daughter is graduating in 90 days, then it is a burden,” he answered. “If the wedding is planned for May, that is a burden. I don’t think Muslims should plan their lives around Trump’s decision.”
On the other hand, Elshikh’s mother-in-law has not visited in 12 years — for whatever reason, she did not visit for the births of grandchildren or the various milestones in their lives. And now this 90-day delay is a violation of her family’s constitutional rights?
The plaintiffs did not file suit over earlier government actions that made coming to the United States a difficult and drawn-out effort. Some in the Obama administration made clear that it could take years for a Syrian to be admitted to the U.S. But when Trump announced a 90-day delay, the Hawaii plaintiffs went to court. Why?
Perhaps there is a clue in some of the words in the lawsuit that convey emotion. Elshikh and other Muslims feel this or that, or they are devastated, or there is this or that perception, or this or that message conveyed. It could be that much of the energy behind the lawsuit is emotional, caught up in a hysteria about Donald Trump as much as a rational reading of the new executive order.