A federal appeals court denied a request to reinstate U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration in the latest confusion surrounding a ban that has thrown the world, including Canada, into confusion about who can travel to the United States and when. Check back here for details and links to resources that might help.
What’s going on?
U.S. President Donald Trump – who ran for office on a promise to bar Muslims from entering the country – issued an executive order on Jan. 27 temporarily blocking entry by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. A court ruling has temporarily blocked that ban, so for now, citizens from those countries can travel as normal. But a heated showdown between the courts, the White House and the federal departments responsible for enforcing the ban means that its fate is far from settled yet.
Mr. Trump’s ban hit a major roadblock on Feb. 3, when Seattle federal Judge James Robart issued a restraining order to block it nationwide. The Justice Department appealed to a higher court in San Francisco to strike down Judge Robart’s ruling right away, but on Saturday that court denied their request. That means the legal battle over the ban could still take days, if not longer.
Before Judge Robart’s ruling, U.S. officials had already provisionally revoked 60,000 visas for people from the seven countries, but the State Department said it had reversed the cancellations and Homeland Security said it would stop enforcing the ban for now. After getting the go-ahead from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, airlines around the world (including Canada’s major carriers) began allowing travellers from the affected countries to board flights to the United States again.
Mr. Trump isn’t happy about any of this. On Friday, he lashed out on Twitter at the “so-called judge” – an appointee of former Republican president George W. Bush – and on Saturday he told reporters: “For the safety of the country, we’ll win.”
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