Washington: US President Donald Trump lashed out on Saturday at a court ruling suspending his controversial ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries, dismissing it as “ridiculous” and vowing to get it overturned.
The order blocking the ban, issued late Friday by Seattle US district judge James Robart, is valid across the US, pending a full review of a complaint filed by Washington state’s attorney general.
The travel restrictions, which went into effect a week ago, have wreaked havoc at airports across America, sparked numerous protests and left countless people hoping to reach the US in limbo.
“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” Trump wrote in a flurry of early morning tweets.
“When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety &.Security — big trouble!” Mr Trump wrote, less than 12 hours after the ruling was issued.
“Interesting that certain Middle Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in it’s death & destruction!” said Mr Trump, who was in Florida for the weekend.
The White House said in a statement that the department of justice would fight the court to defend the travel ban, “which we believe is lawful and appropriate.”
Friday’s ruling was not the first to challenge the travel ban, but it was the most sweeping as it effectively vacated the main tenets of the order.
Washington state’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, said the order technically means that anyone with a valid visa must be allowed entry into the country by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“It is not the loudest voice that prevails in a courtroom, it’s the Constitution,” Mr Ferguson said, pointing out that Justice Robart was appointed by Republican President George W. Bush.
The state department said on Friday that up to 60,000 people from the seven targeted countries had their visas cancelled as a result of the order. A justice department attorney, however, told a court hearing in Virginia that about 100,000 visas had been revoked.
The ruling gave hope to some West Asian travellers, but left them unclear how long the new travel window might last.
Mr Donald Trump’s executive order blocked the entry of citizens of Syria into the US for 120 days, and for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia Sudan, and Yemen for 90 days.
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