SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge on Friday temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries after Washington state and Minnesota urged a nationwide hold on the executive order that has launched legal battles across the country.
U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle ruled against government lawyers’ claims that the states did not have the standing to challenge Trump’s order and said they showed their case was likely to succeed.
“The state has met its burden in demonstrating immediate and irreparable injury,” Robart said.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, as of Friday night, the ruling was being interpreted to mean that immigration and visits from the blocked countries could resume right away.
“Am I concerned that Homeland Security will not follow the judge’s ruling? No. We’re a nation of laws. It is absolutely my expectation that the federal government will honor this ruling by this judge today,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.
Trump’s order last week sparked protests nationwide and confusion at airports as some travelers were detained. The White House has argued that it will make the country safer.
“At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate. The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people,” the White House said in a statement on Friday night.
One week after the order went into effect, protests continue to take place across the country. On Friday night, WCBS 880’s Myles Miller spoke with some people gathered in Astoria, Queens, which is home to a large Muslim community.
“Fight and resist every single day, and say it loud and say it clear: Immigrants are welcome here.” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told the crowd.
Sumaya Carver, who is Muslim, said her friends are fearful.
“They’re like, ‘I don’t want to live here, like why did I ever come to this country and stuff.’ And I don’t feel like anyone should ever feel like they made the wrong decision for doing what’s right for them,” she said.
Washington became the first state to sue, with Attorney General Bob Ferguson saying the order was causing significant harm to residents and effectively mandates discrimination. Minnesota joined the suit this week.
The two states won a temporary restraining order while the court considers the lawsuit, which says key sections of Trump’s order are illegal and unconstitutional.
In a statement Friday night, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, called the judge’s ruling a “victory.”
“This ruling is a victory for the Constitution and for all of us who believe this un-American executive order will not make us safer. President Trump should heed this ruling and he ought to back off and repeal the executive order once and for all,” the statement read.
Court challenges have been filed nationwide from states and advocacy groups, with some other hearings also held Friday.
“Washington has a profound interest in protecting its residents from the harms caused by the irrational discrimination embodied in the order,” Ferguson said in a brief.
Federal attorneys had argued that Congress gave the president authority to make decisions on national security and admitting immigrants.
The lawsuit says Trump campaigned on a promise to ban Muslims from coming to the U.S. and kept up that rhetoric while defending the travel ban. Lawyers pointed to dozens of exhibits of speeches and statements Trump has made.
“The executive order effectively mandates that the states engage in discrimination based on national origin and/or religion, thereby rescinding the states’ historic protection of civil rights and religious freedom,” the complaint said, calling it a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit ultimately seeks to permanently block parts of the executive order that suspend immigration from the seven Muslim-majority countries, put the U.S. refugee admissions program on hold and halt entry of Syrian refugees.
Ferguson said the order is causing significant harm to Washington residents, businesses and its education system. It will reduce tax revenue and impose significant costs on state agencies, as well as make it impossible for some state employees and students to travel, he said.
Washington-based businesses Amazon, Expedia and Microsoft support the state’s efforts to stop the order. They say it’s hurting their operations, too.
A Brooklyn judge on Thursday extended a temporary restraining order to Feb. 21, but the Justice Department said it will ask her to throw out the case.
U.S. District Judge Carol Amon’s ruling extended a stay that had been issued Saturday by a different judge and would have expired Feb. 11. Amon extended the order to give more time the government and civil liberties organizations to file paperwork.
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