The Department of State on Saturday revoked the suspension of nearly 60,000 visas after a US judge temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's controversial executive order last week banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering America.
The provisional revocation of visas under Trump's executive order has been reversed, and individuals with visas affected the executive action may now travel if the visa remains otherwise valid, the State Department said.
The Department of Homeland Security has also stopped implementing key parts of the immigration order that a US judge in Washington State put under a temporary restraining order Friday, it said. The move from the two departments comes pending an appeal by the Trump administration against the order of a federal judge in Seattle who halted key provisions of the executive orders that banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
"In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order," said Gillian M Christensen, Acting Press Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.
"This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travellers for operational action... DHS personnel will resume inspection of travellers in accordance with standard policy and procedure," Christensen added.
Christiansen added that the Trump administration will seek an emergency halt to the judge's order as soon as possible. "The Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President's Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate. The Order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and thePresident has no higher duty and responsibility than to doso," Christensen said.
Meanwhile the State Department said it has revoked the suspension of visas.
The government response comes after US District JudgeJames Robart in Seattle issued a nationwide restraining orderFriday blocking parts of the executive action that temporarily bars some immigrants and refugees from seven predominantlyMuslim countries.
"The Department of Justice informed us of the Washington state court ruling barring the US government from enforcing certain provisions of Executive Order 13769, including those related to visas and travel," a State Department official said. "We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas under Executive Order 13769. Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid. We are working closely with the Department ofHomeland Security and our legal teams," the official said requesting anonymity.