A Judge has issued a temporary block on President Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Federal Judge James Robart ruled against the government lawyers’ standing that the U.S. didn’t have the standing to challenge President Trump’s executive order.
The order signed last week has led to confusion and protests at U.S. airports.
Customs officials have told the U.S. airlines that while a legal case is being heard, boarding of banned travelers can be resumed.
Qatar Airways told Reuters news agency that it would start accepting all the passengers with valid travel documents.
The justice department, however, can still block the passengers if it were to win an emergency stay. It has said that it would appeal against the Seattle ruling.
The statement from White House described the travel ban as “appropriate and lawful.”
“The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland, and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people.”
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program has been suspected for 120 days by Trump’s order. It also imposes an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, while people arriving from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen or Libya face a 90-day visa suspension.
A number of lawsuits have been filed against the executive order – that was signed last week – but this is the first ruling that granted a nationwide order, temporarily voiding Mr. Trump’s ban.
Trump’s executive order could be reinstated if the justice department files a motion to quash the Seattle court’s ruling. Judge Robart issued his order on the grounds that the travel ban could be unconstitutional – a claim that could be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court.
The executive order caused chaos and led to protests when travelers arriving in U.S. were turned back. The ban has resulted in visa cancellation of an estimated 60,000 people from the seven affected countries. The customs officials added that those visas will be reissued now, and affected people will be free to travel to the U.S.
The lawsuit against Trump’s order was first signed by the Washington state, with Minnesota joining later.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson described the order “un-American and unconstitutional.” He also said that the order violated freedom of religion rights.
Mr. Trump claims that his order is aimed at protecting America, while critics argue that most terrorist attacks in the U.S. in recent years have been carried out by home-grown militants.
Mr. Trump has declined to call it a Muslim ban and said that visas would be reissued once “the most secure policies” were in place.
Hearing against Mr. Trump’s executive order is currently being heard by courts in at least four other states namely New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia.
Earlier, a Boston judge refused to extend a temporary ban that forbids the detention or removal of travelers legally authorized to come to the U.S.
The ban is due to expire on February 5; it was only applicable to Massachusetts.