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Federal court halts Trump’s immigration ban

‘The stay is granted!’


Andrew Couts


A federal judge on Saturday night put a hold on portions of President Donald Trump‘s executive order banning travel for tens of millions of people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The temporary halt prevents the deportation of those affected by Trump’s executive order who are in transit, hold visas, or who have already landed at airports in the United States.

The emergency stay on Trump’s controversial executive order comes as a result of a habeas corpus petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The petition was jointly filed by the International Refugee Assistance Project and the National Immigration Law Center on behalf of Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, who were detained by Customs and Border Patrol at JFK Airport in New York City. Both Darweesh and Alshawi had previously aided the U.S. military.

Issued by Judge Ann M. Donnelly, the stay follows a day of heated debate and growing unrest across the U.S. over the Trump administration’s attempts to bar refugees, immigrants, and permanent residents from seven countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—under the auspices of protecting Americans against terrorism. 

In the stay, Donnelly forbids Trump from “further acts and misconduct in violation of the Constitution.”

The stay does not defeat the executive order entirely. 

The stay puts a temporary hold on the executive order nationwide, allowing travelers in transit or stranded at airports in the U.S. to pass through immigration checkpoints—but stops short of granting them entrance into the U.S., although they may be permitted to do so—and to halt deportations of those affected by the travel ban. 

Refugees who have not already been vetted—a process that takes years—or already received their U.S. visas or Green Cards will still be barred entry, according to the ACLU. Further, the stay does not cover future travel.

The U.S. government must provide a list of names of people who have been detained or denied entry into the U.S. as a result of Trump’s executive order, according to Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.

Thousands of protesters turned out to Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza to await the judge’s ruling.

The responsibility is now on the Trump administration to prove the order does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

You can read the ACLU’s filing against Trump’s executive order here.

Update 9:22pm CT, Jan. 28: Added additional contextual information.

Clarification: The stay does not grant those affected by Trump’s executive order entrance into the U.S.—but they may be permitted into the country—nor does it cover future travel. Rather, it prevents the U.S. from deporting travelers who might have otherwise been sent back to their country of origin.

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