Seattle judge temporarily halts Trumps travel ban after hearing arguments it unlawfully discriminated against Muslims and caused unreasonable harm
Customs officials have reportedly told US airlines that they can board passengers who had been barred from entering the country after a federal judge in Seattle ordered a temporary halt on Donald Trumps travel ban for refugees and people from seven predominantly-Muslim nations.
District judge James Robart granted a temporary restraining order on Friday after hearing arguments from Washington state and Minnesota that the presidents order had unlawfully discriminated against Muslims and caused unreasonable harm.
It was not immediately clear whether authorities would comply with the broad order, especially after officials reacted in confusion a week earlier, detaining valid visa holders and arguing with lawyers.
Late on Friday, the White House released a statement saying that it would seek an emergency stay against Robarts ruling; an earlier request for a stay by a justice department attorney had been denied by the judge.
At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate. The presidents order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people, press secretary Sean Spicer said. In a second updated statement, the White House removed the word outrageous.
The justice department later said it would not immediately file for an emergency stay, at least on Friday night, and reports said Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had informed US airlines that they should board travelers who had been barred by an executive order last week.
CBP did not reply to repeated questions seeking more information, and a duty officer who answered a phone call referred questions to headquarters.
At San Franciscos international airport, the duty manager said officials there had received no instructions from the government so far. Were just waiting to find out how the laws changing and morphing, the manager said. People are just coming and going. Were hoping it works out well for everyone.