U.S. judge temporarily blocks Trump’s travel ban

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Washington (AP, Feb 4,2017):A U.S. judge has imposed a nationwide hold on Donald Trump’s ban on travellers and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries, siding with two states that had challenged the executive order that has launched legal battles across the country.

In Seattle, U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled that Washington state and Minnesota had standing to challenge Trump’s order, which government lawyers disputed, and said they showed their case was likely to succeed.

About 60,000 people from the affected countries had their visas cancelled.

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“The state has met its burden in demonstrating immediate and irreparable injury,” Robart said. “This TRO [temporary restraining order] is granted on a nationwide basis …”

It wasn’t immediately clear what happens next for people who had waited years to receive visas to come to the U.S., however an internal email circulated among Homeland Security officials told employees to comply with the ruling immediately.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have also informed U.S. airlines that they can once again board travellers who had been barred by the executive order. Canada’s WestJet was told the same thing.