A federal judge’s emergency order has temporarily barred the US from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The judge said travelers who had been detained had a strong argument that their legal rights had been violated.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement early Sunday that said the court ruling would not affect the overall implementation of the White House order and it affected a relatively small number of travelers who were inconvenienced by security procedures upon their return.
The emergency order was issued by US District Judge Ann Donnelly in New York Saturday night after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition on behalf of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations who were detained at airports across the country as the ban took effect.
The judge’s order addressed only a portion of Trump’s executive action. As the decision was announced, cheers broke out in crowds of demonstrators who had gathered at American airports and outside the Brooklyn courthouse where the ruling was issued.
The order barred US border agents from removing anyone who arrived in the US with a valid visa from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It also covered anyone with an approved refugee application.
It was unclear how quickly the judge’s order might affect people in detention, or whether it would allow others to resume flying.
“Realistically, we don’t even know if people are going to be allowed onto the planes,” ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said. “This order would protect people who they allow to come here and reach US soil.”
DHS said the court ruling would have no effect on the overall executive action.
“President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place - prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the US government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety,” according to the DHS statement.
Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the White House, said: “Nothing in the Brooklyn judge’s order in anyway impedes or prevents the implementation of the president’s executive order which remains in full, complete and total effect.”
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