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Boston judge refuses to extend order against Trump immigration ban

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A federal judge in Boston on Friday declined to extend a temporary restraining order that allowed some immigrants into the United States from certain countries despite being barred by U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent executive order.

The ruling was a victory for the Trump administration and a setback for state authorities and advocacy groups that are aiming to overturn last week’s executive order, which temporarily bars nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The decision came on a day that attorneys from four states were in courts challenging the executive order. Trump’s administration justified the action on national security grounds, but opponents labeled it an unconstitutional order targeting people based on religious beliefs.

Earlier on Friday in Virginia, a federal judge ordered the White House to provide a list of all people stopped from entering the United States by the travel ban.

The State Department said on Friday that fewer than 60,000 visas previously issued to citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen had been invalidated as a result of the order. That disclosure followed media reports that government lawyers were citing a figure of 100,000.

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U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia ordered the federal government to give the state a list by Thursday of “all persons who have been denied entry to or removed from the United States.”

At Boston’s Logan International Airport, at least four college students from Iran and Iraq who had previously been blocked from entering the United States by the order, arrived with new visas on Friday, according to a Reuters witness.

The new Republican president’s order signed on Jan. 27 triggered chaos at U.S. airports last weekend. Some travelers abroad were turned back from flights into the United States, crowds of hundreds of people packed into arrival areas to protest and legal objections were filed across the country.

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The order also temporarily stopped the entry of all refugees into the country and indefinitely halted the settlement of Syrian refugees.

The state of Hawaii on Friday joined the challenge to the order, with officials saying they were suing to block enforcement of the travel ban. Federal judges in Boston and Seattle also were weighing arguments.

SKEPTICISM IN BOSTON

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In the Boston case, U.S. District Judge Nathan Gorton expressed skepticism during oral arguments about a civil rights group’s claim that Trump’s order represented religious discrimination.

Civil-rights advocates called to extend a restraining order issued early on Sunday that for seven days blocks the detention or removal of approved refugees, visa holders, and legal permanent U.S. residents who entered from the seven countries. The judge ultimately denied the request.

“Where does it say Muslim countries?” Gorton asked Matthew Segal, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU.

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Segal responded, “If your honor’s question is, ‘Does the word ‘Muslim’ make a profound presence in this executive order?,’ my answer is that it doesn’t. But the president described what he was going to do as a Muslim ban and then he proceeded to carry it out.”

Gorton shot back, “Am I to take the words of an executive at any point before or after election as a part of that executive order?”

Trump has told a Christian broadcaster that Syrian Christians would be given priority in applying for refugee status.

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In Seattle, the states of Washington and Minnesota were together asking a judge to suspend the entire policy nationwide, which would represent the broadest ruling to date against Trump’s directive.

Should the Seattle judge rule that Washington state and Minnesota have legal standing to sue, it could help Democratic attorneys general take on Trump in court on issues beyond immigration.

(Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York, Brian Snyder in Boston and Lawrence Hurley, Lesley Wroughton and Susan Heavey in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Rigby)


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US manufacturing sinks into recession amid Trump’s trade wars

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US manufacturing sunk into recession in June after two consecutive quarters of declines amid President Donald Trump's bitter trade wars, a slowdown in China and other trading partners.

The decline comes as the United States enters its 11th year of economic recovery and occurs despite Trump's constant pledges to restore America to manufacturing greatness -- even though services now drive three quarters of the US economy.

Despite jumping in June, manufacturing fell by a 2.2 percent annual rate in the April-June period, and total industrial production lost 1.2 percent, in both cases the second consecutive quarterly decline, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday.

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Meghan McCain baffles co-hosts by instantly contradicting herself on Fox News and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Meghan McCain described "The Squad" of first-year Democratic lawmakers as the "face" of the party -- and then complained when co-host Sunny Hostin pointed out that's how Republicans and Fox News were trying to portray them.

Hostin called President Donald Trump a racist for telling the lawmakers -- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib -- to go back to their home countries, and co-host Joy Behar said he was "stupid" for launching those ugly attacks.

"I don't think he's stupid," McCain countered, "but I don't think he's politically astute at all because the politics of this -- on Friday night the progressives and Nancy Pelosi was full 'Gangs of New York'-style fighting with one another on Twitter. It was fascinating to watch."

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Trump has ‘joined Andrew Johnson as the most racist president in American history’: historian

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When President Donald Trump, over the weekend, told four congresswomen of color to go back to the countries they originally came from, it was obviously a rally-the-base strategy designed to appeal to the so-called “patriotism” of his far-right supporters. But, according to presidential historian Jon Meacham, Trump’s bigoted comments were the polar opposite of patriotic. This week’s true American patriots, according to Meacham, are the four congresswomen Trump attacked on Twitter: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — and Trump is showing himself to be the most racist U.S. president since Democrat Andrew Johnson in the 1860s.

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