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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Trump: U.S. will win appeal of judge's travel ban order

Sat Feb 4, 2017 | 10:16 PM EST Reuters Dept. of Homeland Security suspends immigration ban (01:38) Replay 10h ago | 01:38 Dept. of Homeland Security suspends immigration ban Trump: U.S. will win appeal of judge's travel ban... X By Yeganeh Torbati and Steve Holland | WASHINGTON/PALM BEACH, Fla U.S. President Donald Trump said the Justice Department will win an appeal filed late Saturday of a judge's order lifting a travel ban he had imposed on citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries. "We'll win. For the safety of the country, we'll win," he told reporters at his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida shortly after the Justice Department filed a notice that it intends to appeal the order. Trump's personal attack on U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle went too far for some, who said the president was undermining an institution designed to check the power of the White House and Congress. As the ban lifted, refugees and thousands of travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who had been stopped in their tracks last weekend by Trump's executive order scrambled to get flights to quickly enter the United States. The Justice Department did not say when it would file its appeal with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of the ruling made by Robart late on Friday that also lifted Trump's temporary ban imposed on refugee admissions. The judge appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush questioned the constitutionality of Trump's order. The three-judge panel that will decide whether to immediately block the ruling includes appointees of George W. Bush and two former Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Trump said on Twitter early on Saturday. Trump has said "extreme vetting" of refugees and immigrants is needed to prevent terrorist attacks. Throughout the day, Trump continued to criticize the decision in tweets. Late Saturday, Trump showed no signs of backing down. "The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!" he tweeted. Trump’s tweets criticizing the judge’s decision could make it tougher for Justice Department attorneys as they seek to defend the executive order in Washington state and other courts, said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, adding that presidents are usually circumspect about commenting on government litigation. "It’s hard for the President to demand that courts respect his inherent authority when he is disrespecting the inherent authority of the judiciary. That certainly tends to poison the well for litigation," Turley said. SEPARATION OF POWERS It is unusual for a president to attack a member of the judiciary, which the U.S. Constitution designates as a check to the power of the executive branch and Congress. Related Coverage VIDEOMore than 2,000 protesters in Paris denounce Trump's immigration policies VIDEOINSIGHT: Global protests erupt over Trump's ban VIDEOMigrants undeterred by Trump as they travel north for a better life Reached by email Saturday, Robart declined comment on Trump's tweets. Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont said in a statement Saturday that Trump's "hostility toward the rule of law is not just embarrassing, it is dangerous. He seems intent on precipitating a constitutional crisis." "Read the 'so-called' Constitution," tweeted Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee. In an interview with ABC scheduled to air on Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence said he did not think that Trump's criticisms of the judge undermined the separation of powers. "I think the American people are very accustomed to this president speaking his mind and speaking very straight with them," Pence said, according to an excerpt of the interview. The court ruling was the first move in what could be months of legal challenges to Trump's push to clamp down on immigration. His order set off chaos last week at airports across the United States where travelers were stranded and thousands of people gathered to protest. Americans are divided over Trump's order. A Reuters/Ipsos poll this week showed 49 percent favored it while 41 percent did not. ‹ 13/13 Men stand in silhouette during the Jummah prayer of an interfaith event outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 1/13 Iraqi refugee Nizar Kassab and his family pose for pictures with their passports in their temporary home in Beirut, Lebanon February 4, 2017. Reuters/ Jamal Saidi 2/13 Iraqi refugee Nizar Kassab poses for a picture with his family in their temporary home in Beirut, Lebanon February 4, 2017. Reuters/ Jamal Saidi 3/13 Opponents of U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban greet international travelers at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. Reuters/Brian Snyder 4/13 People wait outside a Cairo airport terminal, Egypt February 4, 2017. Reuters/Ahmed Fahmy 5/13 Laura Atlas Kravitz, an opponent of U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban, hands a flower to an arriving international traveler at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. Reuters/Brian Snyder 6/13 An opponent of U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban hands flowers to a member of a Lufthansa flight crew at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. The Lufthansa flight carried several Boston area college students who had previously been denied travel under the travel ban. Reuters/Brian Snyder 7/13 International travelers arrive at Logan airport following U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. Reuters/Brian Snyder 8/13 Men participate in prayers during an interfaith event and the Jummah prayer outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 9/13 People participate in prayers during an interfaith event and the Jummah prayer outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 10/13 People participate in prayers during an interfaith event and the Jummah prayer outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 11/13 People participate in prayers during an interfaith event and the Jummah prayer outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 12/13 Demonstrators pray as they participate in a protest by the Yemeni community against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., February 2, 2017. Reuters/Lucas Jackson 13/13 Men stand in silhouette during the Jummah prayer of an interfaith event outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 1/13 Iraqi refugee Nizar Kassab and his family pose for pictures with their passports in their temporary home in Beirut, Lebanon February 4, 2017. Reuters/ Jamal Saidi › Wes Parker, a retiree from Long Beach, California, held a sign saying "Trump is love" at the Los Angeles International Airport, and said he supported the tighter measures. "We just have to support the travel pause," said Parker, 62. "If you were a new president coming in, wouldn't you want what you feel safe with?" Rights groups, Democrats and U.S. allies have condemned the travel ban as discriminatory. On Saturday, there were protests against the immigrant curb in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and other cities. At the White House, hundreds of protesters chanted "Donald, Donald can't you see? You're not welcome in D.C." TRAVELERS MOVE WITH HASTE The sudden reversal of the ban catapulted would-be immigrants back to airports, with uncertainty over how long the window to enter the United States will remain open. Related Coverage VIDEOProtesters dance through D.C. against Trump VIDEOSeattle judge blocks Trump immigration order VIDEOProtesters in Australia rally against Trump's refugee ban U.S. moves to resume admitting refugees, including Syrians U.S. immigration advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union on Saturday urged those with now valid visas from the seven nations "to consider rebooking travel to the United States immediately" because the ruling could be overturned or put on hold, while a U.S. State Department official said the department planned to admit refugees on Monday. In Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, Fuad Sharef and his family prepared to fly on Saturday to Istanbul and then New York before starting a new life in Nashville, Tennessee. "I am very happy that we are going to travel today. Finally, we made it," said Sharef, who was stopped from boarding a New York-bound flight last week. The Department of Homeland Security said on Saturday it would return to its normal procedures for screening travelers but that the Justice Department would file for an emergency stay of the order "at the earliest possible time." Some travelers told Reuters they were cautious about the sudden change. "I will not say if I have hope or not. I wait, watch and then I build my hopes," said Josephine Abu Assaleh, 60, who was stopped from entering the United States after landing in Philadelphia last week with five members of her family. "We left the matter with the lawyers. When they tell us the decision has been canceled, we will decide whether to go back or not," she told Reuters in Damascus, speaking by telephone. Virtually all refugees also were barred by Trump's order, upending the lives of thousands of people who have spent years seeking asylum in the United States. Friday night's court decision sent refugee advocacy and resettlement agencies scrambling to help people in the pipeline. Iraqi refugee Nizar al-Qassab, 52, told Reuters in Lebanon that his family had been due to travel to the United States for resettlement on Jan. 31. The trip was canceled two days before that and he was now waiting for a phone call from U.N. officials overseeing their case. "It's in God's hands," he said. (Additional reporting by Issam Abdullah in Beirut, Dan Levine in Seattle, Alana Wise in New York, Robert Chiarito and Nathan Layne in Chicago, Daina Beth Solomon in Los Angeles, and Julia Edwards Ainsley in Washington; Writing by Roberta Rampton and David Shepardson; Editing by Bill Trott,Mary Milliken and Diane Craft) Sat Feb 4, 2017 | 12:02 AM EST Seattle judge blocks Trump immigration order; government to appeal 2h ago | 01:38 Seattle judge blocks Trump immigration order Seattle judge blocks Trump immigration order;... X By Dan Levine and Scott Malone | SEATTLE/BOSTON A federal judge on Friday put a nationwide block on U.S. President Donald Trump's week-old executive order temporarily barring refugees and nationals from seven countries from entering the United States. The Seattle judge's temporary restraining order represents a major setback for Trump's action, although his administration could still have the policy put back into effect with an appeal. The White House said late on Friday it believed the ban to be "lawful and appropriate" and said the U.S. Department of Justice would file an emergency motion to stop the judge's order taking effect. Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, made his ruling effective immediately on Friday, suggesting that travel restrictions could be lifted straight away. Shortly after the ruling, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told airlines to board travelers affected by the ban. The U.S. State Department is working with the Department of Homeland Security to work out how Friday's ruling affects its operations, a spokesman told Reuters, and will announce any changes affecting travelers as soon as information is available. Robart's ruling followed an earlier decision by a federal judge in Boston declining to extend a temporary restraining order allowing some immigrants into the United States from countries affected by Trump's three-month ban. The Seattle judge's ruling takes effect because it considered the broad constitutionality of Trump’s order. Robart also explicitly made his ruling apply across the country, while other judges facing similar cases have so far issued orders concerning only specific individuals. Washington Governor Jay Inslee celebrated the decision as a victory for the state, adding: "no person - not even the president - is above the law." The state's attorney general, Bob Ferguson, said: "This decision shuts down the executive order right now." He said he expected the federal government to honor the ruling. ADVERTISEMENT . The challenge in Seattle court was brought by the state of Washington and later joined by the state of Minnesota. The judge ruled that the states have legal standing to sue, which could help Democratic attorneys general take on Trump in court on issues beyond immigration. Washington's case was based on claims that the state had suffered harm from the travel ban, for example students and faculty at state-funded universities being stranded overseas. Trump's Jan. 27 order caused chaos at airports across the United States last week as some citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were denied entry. Judge Robart probed a Justice Department lawyer on the "litany of harms” suffered by Washington state’s universities, and also questioned the administration's use of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States as a justification for the ban. Robart said no attacks had been carried out on U.S. soil by individuals from the seven countries affected by the travel ban since that assault. For Trump’s order to be constitutional, Robart said, it had to be “based in fact, as opposed to fiction.” ‹ 10/10 Men stand in silhouette during the Jummah prayer of an interfaith event outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 1/10 Opponents of U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban greet international travelers at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. Reuters/Brian Snyder 2/10 Laura Atlas Kravitz, an opponent of U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban, hands a flower to an arriving international traveler at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. Reuters/Brian Snyder 3/10 An opponent of U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban hands flowers to a member of a Lufthansa flight crew at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. The Lufthansa flight carried several Boston area college students who had previously been denied travel under the travel ban. Reuters/Brian Snyder 4/10 International travelers arrive at Logan airport following U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. Reuters/Brian Snyder 5/10 Men participate in prayers during an interfaith event and the Jummah prayer outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 6/10 People participate in prayers during an interfaith event and the Jummah prayer outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 7/10 People participate in prayers during an interfaith event and the Jummah prayer outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 8/10 People participate in prayers during an interfaith event and the Jummah prayer outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 9/10 Demonstrators pray as they participate in a protest by the Yemeni community against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., February 2, 2017. Reuters/Lucas Jackson 10/10 Men stand in silhouette during the Jummah prayer of an interfaith event outside Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, U.S., February 3, 2017. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton 1/10 Opponents of U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban greet international travelers at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. February 3, 2017. Reuters/Brian Snyder › The judge's decision was welcomed by groups protesting the ban. “This order demonstrates that federal judges throughout the country are seeing the serious constitutional problems with this order,” said Nicholas Espiritu, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. Eric Ferrero, Amnesty International USA spokesman, lauded the short-term relief provided by the order but added: "Congress must step in and block this unlawful ban for good." FOUR STATES IN COURT The decision came on a day that attorneys from four states were in courts challenging Trump's executive order. The Trump administration justified the action on national security grounds, but opponents labeled it an unconstitutional order targeting people based on religious beliefs. In Boston, U.S. District Judge Nathan Gorton expressed skepticism during oral arguments about a civil rights group's claim that Trump's order represented religious discrimination, before declining to extend the restraining order. The State Department said on Friday that fewer than 60,000 visas previously issued to citizens of the seven affected countries had been invalidated as a result of the order. That disclosure followed media reports that government lawyers were citing a figure of 100,000. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia ordered the federal government to give the state a list by Thursday of "all persons who have been denied entry to or removed from the United States." The state of Hawaii on Friday also filed a lawsuit alleging that the order is unconstitutional and asking the court to block the order across the country. Trump's directive also temporarily stopped the entry of all refugees into the country and indefinitely halted the settlement of Syrian refugees. (Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York, Brian Snyder in Boston and Lawrence Hurley, Lesley Wroughton and Susan Heavey in Washington; Writing by Jonathan Weber and Kristina Cooke; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Rigby)

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