Trump lashes out at court decision as ban suspended

Trump lashes out at court decision as ban suspended
Donald trump lashed out at a US court ruling that blocked the enforcement of the controversial Muslim ban on Saturday, just moments before US authorities suspended the order.
3 min read
04 February, 2017
Trump took to Twitter to vent against the ruling [Getty]

US President Donald Trump lashed out at a court ruling on Saturday, 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 on Friday by Seattle US District Judge James Robart, is valid across the United States, 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 United States 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 familiar 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!" Trump wrote, less than 12 hours after the ruling was issued in Seattle.

"Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in its death & destruction!" said Trump, who was in Florida for the weekend.

Just moments later, US authorities suspended the ban following the court ruling.

"We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas," a US State Department spokesman told AFP.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in a separate statement on Saturday wrote: "In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the executive order."

It added: "DHS personnel will resume inspection of travellers in accordance with standard policy and procedure," but said that US Department of Justice officials would launch an appeal "at the earliest possible time" to reinstate the ban, which the Trump administration believes "is lawful and appropriate".

"The order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do," the DHS statement said.

Trump's executive order blocked citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entry into the US for 90 days. 

Syrian refugees are barred indefinitely, and refugees from other countries are barred from entry for 120 days.

Saturday'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).

"The constitution prevailed today," Ferguson said, describing the judge's decision as historic. "No one is above the law - not even the president."

"It is not the loudest voice that prevails in a courtroom, it's the constitution," he added, pointing out that Robart was appointed by Republican president George W. Bush. 

The State Department said Friday that up to 60,000 people from the seven targeted countries had their visas canceled 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.