The immigration lawyer who is suing President Donald Trump over his executive order banning immigration from six predominantly Muslim countries said he’s been called “racist” and “an idiot” by people on social media, according to an NBC News report.
“I’ve been called a racist, an idiot, and a terrorist, and the word ‘terrorist’ has been thrown around a lot, and I’ve been the target of insults, threats, and bullying,” said Matthew Levinson, an immigration attorney in New York City.
Levinson was one of the lawyers who represented several refugees and asylum seekers who sued Trump’s travel ban in federal court last week.
The suit accused the president of violating the Constitution’s equal protection clause, and it said Trump’s order violated the Constitution by targeting refugees and other immigrants from the six countries.
Trump has defended the order, saying it was needed to protect American citizens from terrorism.
His lawyers have said that the president’s executive order is necessary to protect the nation from an international pandemic that is linked to human-caused climate change.
Trump issued an executive order on Jan. 27, temporarily banning entry to the United States for nationals of the six predominantly Muslims countries.
He later signed an order to suspend entry for 120 days for citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in that case in late January.
The order was blocked by the courts last month and is still on hold.
Levison said his case is different because it’s a lawsuit challenging Trump’s executive orders, not a lawsuit to stop them.
The lawsuit alleges that the orders are unconstitutional because they impose an undue burden on American citizens and impose an unreasonable and discriminatory burden on immigrants and refugees fleeing terrorist attacks.
It seeks a permanent injunction to prevent the administration from enforcing the order.
Trump and the Justice Department have repeatedly said they are not considering the lawsuit and the case is being handled by the Department of Justice.
A White House official told NBC News that the Trump administration would not comment on legal matters.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Thursday saying it is reviewing the lawsuit.
“As part of the vetting process for visa applicants, the U.K. and other countries require the Government to verify the identity and legal status of the applicant,” the statement said.
“This vetting process includes conducting a comprehensive background check of the individual applying for a visa, and an interview to assess their suitability for the visa.
The Government is currently reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action if necessary.”
A White Houses spokeswoman said the administration has a “well-established vetting process” that includes interviewing applicants and making sure they meet all relevant requirements for the entry visa.