A United States appeals court on Thursday paused proceedings related to the Donald Trump administration’s travel ban, after the president said he will sign a new executive order on the restriction next week. “We will be issuing a new and very comprehensive order to protect our people,” he announced at a news conference. “I will not back down from defending our country,” AP reported him as saying.
In documents filed in court, the Trump government said it wanted the legal battle put on hold so it can issue another ban on the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. Lawyers representing the administration said the filing focused on foreigners who had never entered the US, and not green card holders or immigrants who had travelled abroad while the order was issued.
“In so doing, the president will clear the way to immediately protect the country rather than pursuing further, potentially time-consuming litigation,” the filing said. It also asked the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals that is hearing the case to dismiss its ruling from last week. On February 9, the court had refused to reinstate the immigration ban, observing that the Trump administration had failed to provide evidence to justify the move on national security grounds.
The court had sought filings from the parties to the case – the Trump regime and the states of Washington and Minnesota which had challenged the travel ban – to decide on whether the matter should be referred to a larger bench. “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” is how the US president had reacted after the last verdict.
While the US president has repeatedly defended the move as “not a Muslim ban”, the restrictions brought in by his executive order wreaked havoc on immigrant families, especially those with valid visas. Protests were launched across the country, including at airports, against the travel ban. His executive order had been criticised by several quarters, including politicians, activists, immigration advocates and even United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
This was Trump’s first sole press conference since he assumed office on January 20. He was all praises for his administration for making “incredible progress” and “running like a fine-tuned machine”, as well as for himself for keeping his campaign promises to “the American people”.
However, his focus for the night appeared to be the “dishonest” media and the “fake news” they reported. “Many of our nation’s reporters and folks will not tell you the truth...,” he said in his opening statement. “Unfortunately, much of the media in Washington DC, along with New York and Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people but for the special interests of those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system.”