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Just In: Us Judge Temporarily Halts Deportations


Jan 29, 2017


A US judge has issued a temporary halt to the deportation of visa holders or refugees stranded at airports following President Trump's executive order.


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a case in response to the order issued on Friday.


The ACLU estimates that between 100 and 200 people are being detained at airports or in transit.


Thousands of people have been protesting at US airports over Mr. Trump's clampdown on immigration.

His executive order halted the entire US refugee programme and also instituted a 90-day travel ban for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Those who were already mid-flight were detained on arrival - even if they held valid US visas or other immigration permits.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump told reporters: "It's working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over."

Other executive orders issued by Mr. Trump on Saturday were:

  • A ban on administration officials ever lobbying on behalf of a foreign government
  • An order to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to come up with a plan within 30 days to defeat so-called Islamic State
  • Restructuring the National Security Council with a key role for senior strategist Steve Bannon.

Early on Sunday, the Department of Homeland Security said it would comply with judicial rulings but would continue to enforce Mr. Trump's order.

The case was brought early on Saturday on behalf of two Iraqi men detained at JFK Airport in New York.

One worked for the US military in Iraq. The other is married to a former US military contract employee.

Both have now been released. Another court hearing is set for February.

Judges elsewhere in the US have also ruled on the issue:

  • An order issued in Virginia banned, for seven days, the deportation of green card holders held at Dulles Airport and ordered the authorities to allow access to lawyers
  • Seattle judge issued an emergency stay of removal from the US for two people

In addition to those detained on arrival in the US, some air passengers were prevented from boarding US-bound flights after the order was signed.

On Saturday five Iraqi passengers and a Yemeni national were prevented from boarding a flight at Cairo airport bound for New York.

Dutch airline KLM said it had turned away seven people who were booked on US-bound flights because they would no longer have been accepted

The restriction applies to dual nationals - so, for example, a British citizen who is also a citizen of Iran would not be able to enter the US.




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