Saturday Morning, flights to the U.S. from nations considered to be “hotbeds of terrorism” resumed after a federal judge temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry by people from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
For now, it appears the order by U.S. District Court Senior Judge James L. Robart means that holders of U.S. visas or green cards allowing them to live and work in the U.S. can fly into the country as before. Trump’s order affected citizens of Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Yemen.
The temporary restraining order applies nationwide, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office said.
“The Constitution prevailed today”, Ferguson said in a statement. “No one is above the law — not even the President.”
The restraining order will be in effect until U.S. District Court Senior Judge James L. Robart considers a legal challenge filed by the attorney general, Ferguson’s office said.
Qatar Airways issued a statement saying, “as directed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” nationals of the seven affected countries and all refugees presenting a valid U.S. visa or Green Card allowing them to work in the U.S. would be permitted to travel to the United States.
Egyptair released a similar statement saying,”There is no stopping any passenger if they have a visa”, said Hossam Hussein, the Egyptair manager for flights to New York.|
The New York times reported that airlines that had been stopping travelers from boarding planes to the U.S. had been told by the government in a conference call Friday night to begin allowing them to fly.
Reuters also reported a Friday evening conference call in which U.S. Customs & Border Protection informed U.S. airlines that they could again board travelers who had been blocked by last week’s executive order. The airlines were told to operate just has they had before the order, the news agency reported.
“I heard about the judge’s ruling and I immediately got on a plane to Frankfurt to see if we got a connecting flight to Boston,” said Saira Rafiei who is Iranian and heard about the news while she was in Tehran.
The White House press secretary said the administration would seek an emergency stay at the earliest possible time, and initially called the judge’s action an “outrageous order.” An updated statement issued a short time later dropped the term “outrageous.”