Washington, D.C.– President Donald Trump’s seismic move to ban more than 130 million people from the United States and to deny entry to all refugees reverberated worldwide Saturday, as chaos and confusion rippled through US law enforcement agencies, airports and foreign capitals trying to grasp the US’s new policy.
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Trump’s executive order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for the next 90 days and suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days.
Travelers who fit the ban’s criteria and were already in the air headed for the US on Friday afternoon when Trump signed the executive order were stopped and detained upon arrival at US airports. Others with valid visas and airline tickets were prevented from boarding planes destined for the US — some stranded in foreign countries — as airlines and foreign airport officials scrambled to understand and comply with the new US immigration policy.
But Saturday night, a federal judge granted an emergency stay for people who have already arrived in the United States and those who are in transit, and who hold valid visas, ruling they can legally enter the country.
Judge Ann Donnelly, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, wrote in her decision that government could not remove “individuals with refugee applications approved by US Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the US Refugee Admissions Program, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and other individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen legally authorized to enter the United States.”
Anthony D. Romero, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the judge recognized the potential of harm to immigrants and visitors.
“Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders,” he said.