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US suspends travel ban, reinstates thousands of visas after court order

05 Feb 2017 10:02 AM, IST

US suspends travel ban, reinstates thousands of visas after court order
People protest outside Kennedy International Airport against refugee ban order of President Donald Trump (Photo - New York Times)

Washington, Feb 5: The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday said it will stop flagging travellers from the countries under the Trump administrations travel ban, following a federal judges ruling to suspend the executive order, even as the President termed the order "ridiculous".

A spokesperson for Homeland Security said in a statement that the decision was made in order to comply with a Friday ruling by a federal judge, adding that the department will resume its standard procedures in its inspection of travellers.

"We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas," a State Department official said in a statement. "Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid."

The Justice Department will lodge an emergency stay to reverse the court order at the earliest possible time, the spokesperson said.

Earlier, President Donald Trump responded to the judge's block of his travel ban, tweeting that the decision was"ridiculous" and will be "overturned".

On Friday, US federal Judge James Robart issued a temporary restraining order on the ban until a full review of a complaint made by Washington state's attorney Bob Ferguson has been conducted.

The US Customs and Border Protection said they would reinstate visas to comply with the order. The White House has released a statement saying the Department of Justice intended to file an emergency stay on the order to "defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate."

Earlier Trump also tweeted: "When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security - big trouble!"

On January 27, Trump issued an executive order that banned citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US.

The order was met with widespread protests and confusion, with multiple lawsuits already filed and many more expected in the coming days.

During the hearing, Judge Robart questioned the administration's use of 9/11 to justify the order, saying no attacks had been carried out on US soil by individuals from any of the seven countries listed.

Trump's Twitter response came after the CBP issued an advisory to airlines allowing passengers to board from the seven countries targeted in the executive order.

The back-and-forth between the White House and US courts has caused further confusion at airports, with several international airlines now allowing passengers with valid travel documents to board once again amid the information tumult.


US reinstates thousands of visas after judge's immigration order

Washington, Feb 5: The State Department said it had reinstated thousands of visas after a federal judge halted enforcement of President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily barring refugees and people from entering the US.

The provisional revocation of visas under Trump's executive order has been reversed, a State Department official told Efe news on Saturday.

The official added that people with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid.

The State Department said on Friday that it had provisionally revoked nearly 60,000 visas that had been issued to foreigners from seven countries targeted by the travel ban.

It was unclear how many people had had their visas physically canceled and would therefore be unable to recover them for travel to the US, but the remaining would-be travelers will be allowed to board planes operated by airlines that have begun flying passengers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

US District Court Senior Judge James L. Robart on Friday granted an injunction blocking enforcement of Trump's executive order instituting the travel ban, acting at the request of Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose office said that the temporary restraining order applies nationwide.

That injunction blocked a decree issued January 27 by Trump ordering a temporary pause in admission of refugees, a 90-day prohibition on entry by residents of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen, and an indefinite suspension of admission of Syrian refugees.

The judge's ruling is temporary and will be in place until Robart issues a final ruling on the executive order's legality or until a higher court overturns it.

Trump also personally expressed his displeasure at the ruling in a series of Twitter posts. "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"


Keywords : State Department ,   Visa ban ,   Donald Trump  

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