The US State Department on Saturday suspended the ban on people travelling to the country from seven Muslim-majority nations, after a United States federal court imposed a temporary restraining order on its implementation. “We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas,” a spokesperson told AFP. “Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid.”
The administration of US President Donald Trump is working with the Department of Homeland Security and its legal teams to review the complaint filed by Washington state, one of the petitioners who had challenged the immigration ban, the spokesperson said. Some 60,000 travel visas had been revoked as per Trump’s order, which he said was aimed at protecting the country from “foreign terrorists”, the official added.
In a separate statement, the Department of Homeland Security said it had halted all actions that were taken in compliance with the executive order. “DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure”. However, it emphasised that the US Department of Justice would file an appeal to have the 90-day restriction on immigration to the country reimposed.
Trump, on Saturday, vowed to have to legal ruling against his travel ban overturned. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!,” the president had said on Twitter. Judge James Robart of a Seattle court had issued a temporary restraining order on the ban, calling it unconstitutional. Besides Washington, the state of Minnesota, too, had challeged the move, which directly affected immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
While Trump had defended the move as “not a Muslim ban”, the restrictions brought in by his executive order has wreaked havoc on immigrant families, especially those with valid visas. Protests were launched across the country, including at airports, against the immigration ban. It has been criticised by several quarters, including politicians, activists, immigration advocates and even United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.