February 23, 2018

Trump executive order: US judge temporarily halts deportations

mmA US judge has issued a temporary halt to the deportation of visa holders or refugees stranded at airports after President Donald Trump issued an order barring entry to them for 90 days.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a case in response to the order issued on Friday.
It estimates that 100-200 people are being held at airports or in transit.
Thousands of people have been protesting at US airports over Mr Trump’s clampdown on immigration.
His executive order halted the entire US refugee programme and also instituted a 90-day travel ban for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Those who were already mid-flight were detained on arrival – even if they held valid US visas or other immigration permits.
On Saturday, amid protests and court challenges, Mr Trump told reporters: “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.”
Other executive orders issued by Mr Trump on Saturday were:
‘Irreparable injury’
The ruling from federal Judge Ann Donnelly, in New York, prevented the removal from the US of people with approved refugee applications, valid visas, and “other individuals… legally authorised to enter the United States”.
The emergency ruling also said there was a risk of “substantial and irreparable injury” to those affected.
Her ruling is not on the constitutionality of Mr Trump’s executive order. What will happen to those still held at airports remains unclear.
In its response, the Department of Homeland Security said it would continue to enforce the measures that on Saturday had affected “less than 1% of the more than 325,000 international air travellers who arrive every day”.
It added that the US government “retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety”.
The case was brought early on Saturday on behalf of two Iraqi men detained at JFK Airport in New York.
One worked for the US military in Iraq. The other is married to a former US military contract employee.
Both have now been released. Another court hearing is set for February.
Criticism of Mr Trump’s decision has been growing louder outside the US.
Iran is threatening a reciprocal ban on US citizens entering the country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany issued a statement saying “even the necessary, determined fight against terrorism does not justify placing people of a certain origin or belief under general suspicion”.
A spokesperson for UK PM Theresa May said she “did not agree” with the restrictions, and French independent presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “I stand with the people fleeing war and persecution”.

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