Federal judge temporarily halts Trump’s controversial refugee travel ban nationwide
A federal judge in Washington temporarily halted President Trump’s ban on travel from seven majority-Muslim countries late Friday, stopping enforcement of the ban nationwide and opening up further questions about the deeply controversial executive order.
In response to the ruling by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, Washington, Customs and Border Protection began restoring visas, including for refugees, and told airlines it was “back to business as usual,” CNN reported. In a statement, White House press secretary Sean Spicer called Judge Robart’s ruling “outrageous,” vowed to fight the ruling, and said the President’s order “was lawful and appropriate.” The statement was then quickly updated to remove the word outrageous.
On Twitter, Trump attacked Judge Robart directly:
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
President Trump’s order, issued last week, included a 90-day of ban of entry to U.S. from seven Muslim majority countries — Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, and Libya. It also issued a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the U.S. and halted admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely.
In one week, the ban has created legal and logistical chaos, lead to mass demonstrations at airports, brought on a wave of lawsuits, drew international condemnation, created worries that it might help America’s enemies, and was met with resistance or outright protest from the business and tech communities. The ban has also raised thorny questions about American values, torn families apart, and resulted in the government revoking somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 visas.
In the ruling, Judge Robart, who was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2003, found that suits brought by the states of Washington and Minnesota against Trump’s executive order had sufficiently demonstrated the negative consequences of the ban. In a statement issued Friday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said, “the Constitution prevailed today. No one is above the law — not even the President.”
In the ruling — the full text of which is available here — Judge Robart wrote:
“…the States have met the burden of demonstrating they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. The Executive Order adversely affects the States’ residents in areas of employment, education, business family relations, and freedom to travel. These harms extend to the states by virtue of their roles as parens patriae of the residents living within their borders. In addition, the States themselves are harmed by virtue of the damage that implementation of the Executive Order has inflicted upon the operations and missions of their public universities and other institutions of higher learning, as well as injury to the States’ operations, tax bases, and public funds. These harms are significant and ongoing.”
Video of the court’s hearing is available here.