Federal judge orders national halt on immigration restrictions
Federal judge orders national halt on immigration restrictions

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled Friday in favor of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson [official websites] in issuing a stay [text, PDF] of President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration restrictions. The nationwide temporary retraining order forbids government employees from carrying out Trump’s executive order [text] barring immigration from certain states, based on the irreparable economic damage the states would incur from such a ban. Judge James Robart stated, “[t]he executive order adversely affects the state’s residents in areas of employment, education, business, family relations and freedom to travel,” and added that “[t]hese harms are significant and ongoing.” The Trump administration responded, with the president tweeting, “[t]he opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” and the White House releasing a statement,

[a]t 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. The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people.

Robart’s temporary restraining order will stand until the parties have an opportunity to fully litigate the issue or an emergency stay overrules it.

Trump signed the executive order [JURIST op-ed] in late January. Only a day later, a judge for the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency stay [JURIST report], temporarily preventing execution of the law, until the question of whether it applied to valid visa holders could be resolved. The issue was resolved by a district judge in Michigan, who ordered [JURIST report] that the travel ban could not be applied to legal citizens, including those holding visas.