Justice Dept. files notice of appeal after judge blocks Trump immigration order



Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Trump administration on Saturday filed a notice of appeal indicating it intends to challenge a federal judge's ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's executive order that temporarily blocked entry to the U.S. of those from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

The notice was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington. It comes a day after a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order that blocked the Trump travel restrictions.

The notice is not the appeal itself. The White House press secretary on Friday said the administration would seek an emergency stay against Judge James L. Robart's restraining order, and defended the travel restrictions as legal.

Trump's Jan. 27 order suspended for 90 days entry to the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The order caused chaos at airports, and among those reported detained or turned away included students, professors, and green card holders.

Some 60,000 visas that had been canceled were deemed valid after the judge issued his ruling.



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The International Air Transport Association said in a note to airlines earlier Saturday that restrictions were lifted and "it is as if the Executive Order never existed."

Once the appeal is filed a judge will decide whether to grant the stay. If the stay is granted, the executive order would go back into effect.

Trump's order suspended for 90 days entry to the U.S. of nationals of Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Yemen. Trump said the order is necessary to protect Americans from terrorism. Critics have called it a "Muslim ban," which trump has denied.



Meanwhile, visa holders from the seven affected nations rushed to airports or to make travel plans after a U.S. judge put the controversial order on hold, fearing that it was only a temporary reprieve.

Trump's order suspended for 90 days entry to the U.S. of nationals of Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Yemen. Trump said the order is necessary to protect Americans from terrorism. Critics have called it a "Muslim ban," which trump has denied.

Meanwhile, visa holders from the seven affected nations rushed to airports or to make travel plans after a U.S. judge put the controversial order on hold, fearing that it was only a temporary reprieve.

Some didn't wait for Friday's night's restraining order that put the immigration restrictions on hold nationwide.

Amir Rashidi, 55, of Seattle, said his niece had flown into Boston on Saturday afternoon from Iran. Despite holding a green card, she was previously barred from entering the United States.

Rashidi said he heard from an attorney that Lufthansa was agreeing to board passengers with immigrant visas, and he contacted his niece, Mahsa Fazmali, to buy a ticket. She scrambled to board the next plane.

"She is happy and we're very thankful," Rashidi told NBC News after his niece arrived at Boston's Logan International Airport Saturday.

"This is her first experience with democracy where no one is above the law even the president," he said. "This is the America everyone knows outside the U.S."

Rula Aoun, director of the Arab American Civil Rights League in Dearborn, Michigan, was urging people to hurry.

"We're telling them to get on the quickest flight ASAP," Aoun, whose group filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Detroit asking a judge to declare Trump's immigration order unconstitutional, told The Associated Press.

Trump responded the temporary restraining order issued by Washington U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart with a serious of angry Tweets, including one that called Robart a "so-called judge." Robart was nominated in 2003 by President George W. Bush.

Saira Rafiee, a doctoral student at the City University of New York, arrived at Boston's airport Saturday after being stranded in Iran following a family vacation. After the order was put in place, she was stopped in Abu Dhabi and sent back to Tehran.

"I hope this all ends soon," she said.