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John Bair
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Federal Judiciary Steps in on Presidential Executive Order

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Judges Donnelly, Brinkema, Burroughs and Dein Block Trump Order Amid Chaos

Judges from three states took action immediately following President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking immigrants from the seven predominately Muslim nations from entering the United States.

At 4:42 p.m. on Friday, President Trump’s order suspended entry of all refugees to the U.S. for 120 days. The order barred Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocked entry for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. As a result, scores of travelers were trapped in American airports, unable to officially enter the country.

Trump executive order

At 1:51 a.m., Federal Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein imposed a seven-day restraining order against Trump’s executive order. The judges’ ruling prohibits authorities from detaining or deporting immigrants and refugees with valid visas or green cards. In addition to instructing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to notify foreign airlines that immigrants are permitted on American-bound flights, the order also prohibits officials from forcing travelers to undergo extra security screenings based solely on Trump’s order.

Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly in New York issued an order ruling that implementing the order could cause “… substantial and irreparable harm to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals” by sending them back to their countries. She ruled the government is “… enjoined and restrained from, in any manner and by any means, removing individuals” who had arrived in the U.S. with valid and approved refugee applications and visas and those who are otherwise authorized to enter the country.

Minutes after Judge Donnelly’s ruling on Saturday, Federal Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Virginia issued a seven-day temporary restraining order blocking the removal of any green card holders being detained at Dulles International Airport. In addition to forbidding removal of the permanent residents, the document ordered authorities to “… permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained” at Dulles.

Also on Saturday, Judge Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington in Seattle granted an emergency stay of removal for two people. Authorities are not to remove them from the country until a hearing later this week, according to the document.

I commend the Judiciary and the legal profession for taking actions that are in the best interest of our national integrity. I have faith that the actions of our responsible citizens will paint the picture of America we all want the world to see. May the arms of the Statue of Liberty open wide.