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Justice Department challenges judge's halt of travel ban

Travel ban battle

The Justice Department on Saturday night filed an appeal to a court order halting President Trump’s travel ban, requesting that implementation of the controversial executive order resume immediately. 

The 125-page filing states that Friday night’s injunction “harms the public by thwarting enforcement of an Executive Order issued by the President, based on his national security judgment.” 

The Justice Department lawyers write that Mr. Trump “has determined that ‘[d]eteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States,’ and that our Nation accordingly must take additional steps ‘to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.’”

The initial injunction, handed down by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, effectively paused all implementation of Mr. Trump’s signed executive order, which prohibited entry into the U.S. to all refugees and citizens from seven countries with Muslim-majority populations.

The ruling was the result of a lawsuit brought by the states of Washington and Minnesota against the Trump administration challenging the ban. Robart issued a temporary restraining order to pause its implementation until the case was heard, saying the states had legal standing to contest the president’s directive and had showed their case was likely to succeed.

The departments of State and Homeland Security complied immediately with the order by the Seattle-based judge. 

On Saturday, the State Department issued a statement saying it had reinstated visas that were not physically canceled, so travel to the U.S. could resume for those banned under the executive order. 

The Department of Homeland Security has also instructed its employees to suspend any actions carrying out the ban, including the detention and removal of travelers. Traveler inspections, DHS said, would continue “in accordance with standard policy and procedure.”

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