Visa holders flood into U.S. after court order halting Trump Immigration EO


Travelers from 7 high risk countries make mad rush to beat the clock before Executive Order reinstated. From The Hill:

“At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President’s Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate,” spokesperson Gillian Christensen said in a statement, as first reported by BuzzFeed News.

Homeland Security said in its statement that it was suspending “any and all actions implementing the affected sections” of the order.

“This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order. DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure.”

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After the judge’s ruling, international airlines changed their policies and allowed people from the seven countries to board US-bound flights. From CNN:

US Customs and Border Protection informed major American airlines on a conference call late Friday that it was “back to business as usual,” effective immediately, an airline executive told CNN.

Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, major operators that connect the Middle East to the United States, said Saturday they would allow citizens of the affected nations on their US-bound flights. Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways said those presenting a valid, unexpired visa or green card would also be allowed to board.

Air France also said it would accept passengers from the seven countries.

“Air France takes note of the decision of the American courts to suspend the presidential decree of 27 January 2017 prohibiting entry into the US for citizens of seven countries,” the airline said.

“Consequently, and subject to satisfying the conditions of entry into the United States, as from today Air France will accept passengers from the countries concerned on its flights to the US.”

Germany’s largest carrier, Lufthansa, made a similar announcement but warned that “short-notice changes to the immigration regulations may occur at any time.”

U.S. News reports that visa holders are rushing to enter the U.S.:

Visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban hurried to board U.S.-bound flights Saturday, fearing they might have only a slim window through which to enter the country after a federal judge temporarily blocked the ban.

Those who could travel immediately were being urged to do so because of uncertainty over whether the Justice Department would be granted an emergency freeze of the order issued Friday by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle. The government on Saturday suspended enforcement of the week-old ban as it scurried to appeal Robart’s order, although an immigration lawyer said passengers in at least one African airport were told they couldn’t get on the planes.

Rula Aoun, director of the Arab American Civil Rights League in Dearborn, Michigan, said her group is advising people to hurry.

“We’re telling them to get on the quickest flight ASAP,” said Aoun, whose group filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Detroit asking a judge to declare Trump’s immigration order unconstitutional.

Via LI