US visa holders rush to board flights to US amid reprieve

2017-02-05 07:32
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Green Bay. (Evan Vucci, AP)

Chicago — Visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries affected by President Donald Trump's travel ban are hurrying to board US-bound flights, fearing they might have only a slim window through which to enter the country after a federal judge temporarily blocked the ban.

Those who could travel immediately were being urged to do so because of uncertainty over whether the Justice Department would be granted an emergency freeze of the order issued Friday by US District Judge James Robart in Seattle.

The government on Saturday suspended enforcement of the week-old ban as it scurried to appeal Robart's order.

Rula Aoun, director of the Arab American Civil Rights League in Dearborn, Michigan, told The Detroit News that she knows of one family who intends to fly back from Egypt on Sunday and another woman there who is booking her flight back as soon as possible.

Trump derides Judge 

US Predisent Donald Trump has since taken to twitter on Saturday to slam the reprieve, saying the judge has opened the country to "potential terrorists".

The Seattle judge derided by President Donald Trump on Twitter on Saturday after blocking Trump's executive order on immigration is known for his conservative legal views, for a record of helping disadvantaged children that includes fostering six of them, and for dramatically declaring "black lives matter" during a hearing on police reform in 2015.

The judge made the most high-profile ruling of his tenure on Friday when he temporarily invalidated Trump's ban on travel to the US from seven primarily Muslim nations. Washington state sued to block the order - with support from Minnesota and major corporations including Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia - arguing that it's unconstitutional and would harm its residents, and Robart held that the state was likely correct.

The ruling did not sit well with the president. "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned," Trump tweeted.