US reinstates thousands of visas after judge’s immigration order
Washington, Feb 5 (IANS) The State Department said it had reinstated thousands of visas after a federal judge halted enforcement of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees and people from entering the US.
The provisional revocation of visas under Trump’s executive order has been reversed, a State Department official told Efe news on Saturday.
The official added that people with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid.
The State Department said on Friday that it had provisionally revoked nearly 60,000 visas that had been issued to foreigners from seven countries targeted by the travel ban.
It was unclear how many people had had their visas physically canceled and would therefore be unable to recover them for travel to the US, but the remaining would-be travelers will be allowed to board planes operated by airlines that have begun flying passengers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
US District Court Senior Judge James L. Robart on Friday granted an injunction blocking enforcement of Trump’s executive order instituting the travel ban, acting at the request of Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose office said that the temporary restraining order applies nationwide.
That injunction blocked a decree issued January 27 by Trump ordering a temporary pause in admission of refugees, a 90-day prohibition on entry by residents of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen, and an indefinite suspension of admission of Syrian refugees.
The judge’s ruling is temporary and will be in place until Robart issues a final ruling on the executive order’s legality or until a higher court overturns it.
Trump also personally expressed his displeasure at the ruling in a series of Twitter posts. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”