Trump's immigration ban: How we ended up back where we were 9 days ago...for now

Restraining order halts immigration order

Developments relating to President Trump’s executive order that imposed a travel ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries and all refugees have been swift in the past 24 hours.

The order, signed Jan. 27, suspended the entry of all refugees to the U.S. for 120 days, halted admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely and barred entry for three months to residents from the predominantly Muslim countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Where we are and how we got here:

Ruling lifts travel ban nationwide

Federal district Judge James Robart in Washington State, originally named to the court by George W. Bush, issued a nationwide temporary restraining order that lifts the travel ban shortly before 4 p.m. PT Friday.  He cited “immediate and irreparable injury” to affected travelers and said the state had a good chance of prevailing in court.

Robart followed that up with a seven-page ruling on the merits of the state’s case in which he said the executive order “adversely affects the state’s residents in areas of employment, education, business, family relations and freedom to travel.”

More: Judge grants restraining order against Trump's immigration order

Customs and Border Protection reinstates visas

In response, U.S. Customs and Border Protection informed U.S. airlines that it was reinstating about 60,000 previously revoked visas and allowing refugees with valid visas to enter the country.

Trump administration files notice of appeal

Saturday night, the Trump administration filed a formal notice of appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to overturn the injunction blocking the ban. The notice contains no legal arguments; those will come later. And of course, Trump accompanied that news with a new tweet, once again criticizing Robart: "The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!"

More: Federal government seeks stay of immigration order

Trump is not happy

In a Saturday morning tweetstorm from his Palm Beach estate, Trump called Robart “a so-called judge” and vowed that his “ridiculous” order “will be overturned.”

U.S. agencies won't enforce Trump immigration ban ... for now

The State Department reversed annulled visas Saturday morning for tens of thousands of foreigners after a federal judge in Seattle issued a nationwide temporary restraining order blocking the travel ban Trump put in place last week. The Department of Homeland Security made similar moves, suspending "any and all actions" implemented in the executive order.

The moves essentially mean Trump's immigration ban is no longer in effect — temporarily.

More: U.S. agencies restore canceled visas, won't enforce immigration ban

Trump's tweets may come up in SCOTUS hearings

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Saturday morning that Trump's disparaging comments about the judge who knocked down the president's immigration ban sets the bar higher for his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

"The president's attack ... shows a disdain for an independent judiciary that doesn't always bend to his wishes and a continued lack of respect for the Constitution, making it more important that the Supreme Court serve as an independent check on the administration," he said in a statement.

"With each action testing the Constitution, and each personal attack on a judge, President Trump raises the bar even higher for Judge Gorsuch's nomination to serve on the Supreme Court. His ability to be an independent check will be front and center throughout the confirmation process."

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a similar statement: "We need a nominee for the Supreme Court willing to demonstrate he or she will not cower to an overreaching executive," he said. "This makes it even more important that Judge Gorsuch, and every other judge this president may nominate, demonstrates the ability to be an independent check and balance on an administration that shamefully and harmfully seems to reject the very concept.”

Airlines allowing visa holders to board

Two prominent Middle Eastern air carriers, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, said U.S.-bound travelers from those countries with valid visas would be allowed to board.  Air France, British Airways, Egyptair, Emirates Airlines, KLM, and Lufthansa also notified affected passengers about the change.

Government-backed Qatar Airways is one of a few Mideast airlines operating direct daily flights to multiple American cities. Royal Jordanian is also resuming flights to the U.S. from the seven countries targeted by the Trump ban as long as people present valid visas or green cards.

Attorneys, immigration supporters gather at airports

In the wake of Judge James Robart's nationwide restraining order lifting the Trump travel ban, attorneys and immigration supporters gathered Saturday at U.S. airports, setting up makeshift legal offices at John F. Kennedy International in New York City and Dulles International in Washington, D.C.

There also are rumblings on social media of people traveling to airports to greet inbound immigrants.

Saturday protests erupt again, worldwide

Tens of thousands of protesters again took to streets across the country and around the world Saturday to criticize President Trump’s executive orders, cabinet picks and overall agenda. Some of the biggest protests took place in New York City and Washington, D.C., with large rallies planned in San Francisco and Los Angles later in the day. Organizing under the social media hashtag #NoBanNoWall, protesters said they wanted to again demonstrate their commitment to protecting vulnerable communities.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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