Trump vows to restore travel ban suspended by federal judge-NewsCO

February 4, 2017

Behnam Partopour, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) student from Iran, is greeted by friends at Logan Airport after he cleared U.S. customs and immigration on an F1 student visa in Boston, Massachusetts, 3 FebruaryImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Iranian student Behnam Partopour cleared immigration in Boston on Friday

US President Donald Trump has vowed to overturn a legal ruling which suspended his ban on travellers from seven mainly Muslim countries.

He described federal judge James Robart as a “so-called” justice whose “ridiculous” opinion “essentially takes law-enforcement away from” the US.

Judge Robart ruled on Friday that the prohibition was unconstitutional.

A number of airlines have said they are allowing nationals targeted by the ban to board flights to America.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” Mr Trump said on Twitter.

“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 tweeted separately.

The US administration argues that his executive order last week, which caused confusion and anger, is designed to protect the US.

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‘Don’t degrade us’

Dr Samuel Jacob, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, was born in Syria. His Syrian wife has been unable to join him.

Image copyright
Samuel Jacob

“I am going to meet with my attorney on Tuesday and he will know the latest information about whether my wife can try to come.

“It’s hard to really understand the detail of this ruling without speaking to my lawyer and so I can’t make a decision about what we can do until then.

“I live and work hard every day in the US to serve everybody and save lives but at the end of the day I still get classified by the government as simply an “x” or a “y” and treated accordingly.

“I work hard for the US and I expect the USA to help me and protect me and let me be with my family, not be degraded in this way.”


The ban’s implementation was halted with immediate effect by Judge Robart’s ruling in Seattle.

Customs officials told airlines that they could resume boarding banned travellers. Within hours, Qatar Airways said it would do so, followed by Air France, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa and others.

“All passengers with valid travel documents are currently eligible to board on LH flights to any US airport,” Lufthansa said.

“We will continue communicating with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and will fully comply with the applicable immigration regulations.”

Iranian infant affected

Some would-be travellers were wary at news the ban had been suspended.

Ibrahim Ghaith, a Syrian barber who fled Damascus in 2013, told Reuters news agency in Jordan: “Today we heard that the measures may have been abolished but we are not sure if this is just talk. If they go back on the decision, people will be overjoyed.”

Among those expected to travel soon is an Iranian infant with a heart defect who had been due to undergo life-saving surgery in the US.

The family of four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad flew her to Dubai last week to get a visa to enter the US, but this was denied under Mr Trump’s ban.

The girl will now be allowed into the country and doctors have pledged to treat her for free, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said late on Friday.

However it is unclear how many people concerned by the ban will decide to risk flying to the US.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The plight of four-month-old Fatemeh has been highlighted in the US Congress

The administration is expected to seek an emergency stay that would restore the restrictions.

In a statement, the White House described Mr Trump’s directive as “lawful and appropriate”.

“The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people,” the statement said.

Media caption“Does the executive order mention the word Islamic, or Muslim?” – Federal Judge James Robart

Mr Trump’s order imposed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. Anyone arriving from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen faces a 90-day visa suspension.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson described the move as unconstitutional.

“Folks who had visas, folks who were allowed to travel were denied that right without any due process whatsoever – that’s un-American and unconstitutional,” he said in a BBC interview.

Courts in at least four other states – Virginia, New York, Massachusetts and Michigan – are hearing cases challenging Mr Trump’s executive order.

In London, protesters converged on the US embassy in Grosvenor Square on Saturday to vent their anger over the travel ban.

Image copyright
PA

Image caption

The London protesters were due to march to Whitehall


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