Trump Ban Update: Federal Court in Seattle Issues TRO to Block Enforcement of Executive Order

A Federal District Court Judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) yesterday afternoon blocking the Trump Administration from enforcing key provisions of the controversial “travel ban” Executive Order signed by the president a week ago. The suit in State of Washington v. Donald Trump was brought by the State of Washington, with the State of Minnesota joining as a plaintiff. Federal District Court Judge James L. Robart found that the two States met their burden in showing that they would face “immediate and irreparable injury” as a result of the Executive Order. Judge Robart stated that Trump’s Executive Order would adversely affect the States’ residents, public universities, operations, tax base and public funds. The TRO will remain in effect until the court hears and decides on the States’ request for a preliminary injunction. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release today stating that it would comply with the court’s decision, while the Department of Justice stated that it would seek an emergency stay of the court’s decision at the “earliest possible time."

IMPORTANT NOTE: A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT ISSUED A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER ON FRIDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 3, 2017, WHICH TEMPORARILY BLOCKS TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN APPLICABLE TO NATIONALS FROM THE SEVEN DESIGNATED COUNTRIES. DEPENDING ON THE OUTCOME OF THE APPEAL PROCESS, AND FUTURE HEARINGS IN THE DISTRICT COURT, THE BAN COULD GO BACK INTO EFFECT WITH LITTLE OR NO NOTICE. If this happens, foreign nationals from designated countries who are outside of the U.S., would once again be prevented from entering or reentering the United States (unless they are green card holders, or hold dual-nationality with a non-designated country). The Washington TRO enjoins the administration from enforcing the most controversial sections of the Executive Order: the 90-day entry-ban that applies to foreign nationals from seven designated countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen); the entry-ban on all refugee for at least 120 days; and the indefinite ban on refugees from Syria. Unlike the previous injunctions issued by other Federal court’s relating to Trump’s travel ban, the TRO in Washington applies prospectively to all applicants for admission, on a nationwide basis. The TRO does not enjoin the Administration from enforcing other parts of the Executive Order, including the suspension of visa interview waivers. Applicants for visa renewals will still be required to go through the visa interview process. We will update you as more information becomes available.

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