A federal judge in Seattle has ruled to halt the controversial "Travel Ban", which prohibits the entrance of people from seven-...
A federal judge in Seattle has ruled to halt the controversial "Travel Ban", which prohibits the entrance of people from seven-Muslim majority countries. In his executive order, President Donald Trump said Christians would be given priority admission to the United States, fueling critics of the order to say it is "unconstitutional", claiming it goes against the First Amendment of freedom of religion. Now, Judge James Robart, a Federal Judge who was appointed by Republican George Bush, has ruled to temporarily stop the order. Trump and the Justice Department (DOJ) plans to challenge the ruling, calling Robart's ruling "outrageous".
"At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement. "The President's order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people."
Until the Justice Department can successfully overturn the ruling halting the ban, those waiting to enter the country will be granted access. Daniel Smith, an immigration attorney in Seattle, believes there will be a "flood of people trying to enter the US over the next few days" due to the legal opening. "I am advising clients who are in the country now -- don't leave," Smith said. "And any clients wanting to enter the country, it's best if you try to get in right now and then stay put if you get here."
The executive order, which has been dubbed as the "Travel Ban", banned entrance from seven-majority Muslim countries. The countries affected by the order are Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Some have argued that none of these countries banned by Trump's order have ever taken credit for any terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, but Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated it "is about preventing terrorist attacks from happening in the first place, not trying to decide what to do after they happened."
A report surfacing earlier today from a Virgina court said over 100,000 visas have been revoked since Trump's executive order, and many have pleaded to the President to take a lighter stance on his controversial immigration policy. Others, however, have shown strong support; many sharing the idea that it is past time the United States established stronger vetting requirements.
A Travel Ban? The Trump Team says not.
While the order has been criticized (or rather praised) as a "travel ban" by the media, the Trump Team and White House officials are quick to say otherwise. Spicer, who has been in hot water with the media and Democrats for his strong support of the order, said it is "not a travel ban", affirming it is an attempt to establish a stronger vetting process.
“It's not a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban,” Spicer told reporters. “It's a vetting system to keep America safe.”
While Trumps' team has been quick to refute the notion that the executive order is indeed a "ban", Donald Trump himself has seemed to say otherwise. Some may find themselves confused with Spicer's words in contrast to that of Trump, who has repeatedly called it a "ban" on Twitter.
If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the "bad" would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad "dudes" out there!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017
When told how his and the Presidents different comments may be confusing, Spicer fired back, saying to a group of reporters: "With all due respect, I think you have been part of the confusion."
While the Justice Department plans to challenge the Seattle judges ruling, there is little he can do. Unlike Acting Attorneys and contestants from a special edition of The Apprentice, the Bush-appointed federal judge can't be fired. However, Trump and the DOJ may likely plan to win over votes through the Republican Senate, pushing the order back into commission. However, two Republican Senators have already backed out of supporting the executive order, meaning it would be left to Vice President Mike Pence to be the deciding, tie-breaking vote. It would be the first time in U.S. history a Vice President ever had the deciding vote in a Senate decision, but if one more Republican pulls out their support of Trump's executive order, the bill will fail. Yet, most supporters are confident all Senators will hold the ground, and the order will likely be brought back into action.
By Michael Marsh