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Last week thousands gathered at JFK Airport to protest the detention of several travelers who had valid visas when embarking upon their flights, but who ran afoul of President Trump’s executive order restricting travel from several Middle Eastern, Muslim-majority countries. This week travelers from those seven predominantly Muslim countries are racing to beat the ban.
Many travelers are scrambling to travel to the United States before President Trump seeks to appeal a judge’s order restoring their visas. There was a notice filed by the Department of Justice promising that an appeal would be made shortly. This appeal would be filed with the Ninth Circuit Court in Washington state. The judge who temporarily halted Trump’s executive order is a Seattle federal Judge who attempted and successfully suspended Trump’s order which suspended America’s refugee program and immigration to America from those seven Muslim-majority countries.The Urban Justice Center advised travelers, “If you are attempted to travel to the US on a valid visa, you should attempt to get on a plane as soon as possible”.
Reports say that citizens and people headed to America from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen flocked the airports in hope of fulfilling their US-bound itineraries. No one knows how long they will be able to travel and immigrate to the United States before any federal judge reinstates Trump’s travel ban.
The President tweeted at 8:12 a.m. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”.
Trump then again tweeted at 3:44 p.m. “What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?”
And then the last tweet of the day at 4:44 p.m. President Trump tweeted “Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision,”.
After Trump’s accusations that he will overturn the lift on the ban, the White House promised it will appeal Robart’s order but they have yet to do so.
A story was published last week about the eleven-year-old girl, Alma Kashkooli, who can barely talk or walk and is prone to seizures who has been extremely affected by the travel ban. She was set to undergo eye surgery and other lifesaving procedures in Pittsburgh last week. Alma’s mother, Fatimah feared leaving New York to retrieve her daughter would leave her stuck overseas, unable to return due to the travel ban. Now that the ban has been temporarily lifted the girl will be brought to New York then Pittsburgh to undergo her lifesaving surgeries. Alma’s US immigration lawyer, Shaimaa Hussein, said: “We’re just keeping our fingers crossed and wishing for the best and hoping time is on our side”.
There were about 60,000 visas from foreigners revoked to comply with the travel ban’s order. The executive order also stopped the processing of refugees from Syria. With the lift that Robart created, it is allowing those visa holders to travel again.
Ibrahim Bahr Uloom, a member of Iraq’s parliament, praised Robarts action, “The US justice system is better than Iraqi diplomacy. Today we thank the American judiciary.”
Yemeni national Ammar Alnajjar, a green-card holder who attends Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, was visiting his fiancee in Uzbekistan when the judge overturned Trump’s order. He instantly paid $1,000 to return as soon as possible because he was not sure when Trump would reinstate the ban and leave him stranded outside of the U.S. “I got to study. I got to do some work,” said Alnajjar, who said he fled the civil war in Yemen and moved to the United States from Turkey in 2015.
Over the weekend Donald Trump had a few more tweets about the ban:
at 7:59 a.m. “When a country is no longer able to say who can and who cannot come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security – big troubles!”
at 8:06 a.m. “Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in its death & destruction!”
A former Iraqi official backed Trump’s order by saying “For the first time we have an American president that speaks about these countries and tells the truth about what they are really like.”
Judge Robart was not the only official that was upset with the ban, two states sued the feds in Seattle, claiming Trump’s executive order was an “illegal” action that separated families and damaged the economy.
For now, the immigration to America with valid visas are reinstated and fully operational. The White House has threatened to overrule the lift shortly, so we can expect the travel ban to continue and be put into power again.
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