US authorities have rolled back President Trump’s controversial travel ban on people from seven mainly Muslim countries after a federal judge temporarily suspended it.
The Department of Homeland Security announced that it had suspended all actions to implement Trump’s immigration order and would resume standard inspections of travelers as it did prior to the signing of the travel ban.
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The President has said the ruling was ‘ridiculous’ vowing it will be overturned.
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
He tweeted that the temporary suspension of his executive order, enacted by federal judge James Robart, could lead to “big trouble”. He branded Robart a “so-called judge” and promised the ruling would be overturned, saying that it “takes law enforcement away from our country”.
The Guardian reports:
Trump also wrote: “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!”
He added: “Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in it’s death & destruction!”
But on Saturday morning the state department said it had reversed visa revocations, meaning that tens of thousands of people whose visas were not physically canceled after the issuing of the executive order last week may now travel freely. On Friday a justice department official said 100,000 visas had been revoked under the ban. State department figures put the number at 60,000.
On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it would comply with Robart’s order.
“In accordance with the judge’s ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the executive order,” said acting press secretary Gillian Christensen. “DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure.”
Christensen also said the justice department intended to counter by filing an emergency stay of Trump’s order, calling it “lawful and appropriate”.
Trump’s executive order suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days and from Syria indefinitely, and placed time-limited holds on the admission of travellers from seven countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. The White House and justice department have argued that the order is necessary for national security.
The order also provided for preference to people from religious minorities in those countries, and Trump said in an interview he would give Christians priority as refugees.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other parties quickly filed lawsuits around the question of whether the ban was unconstitutional as an infringement of religious freedom. A succession of rulings against the government followed.
Airport authorities nonetheless continued to hold or bar travellers from the affected countries last weekend, leading to charges that the Trump White House was seeking to disregard court rulings. Such charges may be repeated in light of Trump’s promise to “overturn” Robart’s opinion.