Martha Obermiller of Denver, right, chants during a rally protesting the immigration policies of President Donald Trump, near the White House in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017.
Martha Obermiller of Denver, right, chants during a rally protesting the immigration policies of President Donald Trump, near the White House in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. AP Photo - Manuel Balce Ceneta

Trump fights back against order suspending his travel ban

DONALD Trump's administration has launched a legal appeal against a judge's order suspending his controversial immigration ban.

The President hit out at US district judge's James Robart's move to block an executive order that temporarily stopped America's refugee programme and immigration from seven Muslim-majority "countries of concern".

He vented his anger against the "terrible decision" on Twitter before a formal challenge came from the Department of Justice.

It has filed a request for an emergency stay with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, in the name of Mr Trump, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

The legal document appeals the "order enjoining and restraining enforcement of portions of the January 27 2017 executive order on Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States".

The Justice Department had said it would ask for a suspension to honour the President's executive order, initially describing the ruling as "outrageous" before omitting the word from a later statement.

The filing asks the court to lift the previous order made by Judge Robart in Washington state on Friday, which caused the Department of Homeland security to stop enforcing the ban.

Mr Trump vowed to overturn the ruling by the "so-called judge", claiming it "takes law enforcement away from our country" and allow "many very bad and dangerous people" into the US.

"The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!" he wrote on Twitter.

Critics said checks and balances on presidential power were part of America's constitution, and that extensive vetting procedures were already in place for visitors, immigrants and refugees.

Mr Trump's order, signed last week, suspended the US refugee programme for 120 days and banned Syrian refugees indefinitely.

It also barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries - Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen - from entering the US for 90 days.

The President the measures would "keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US" but the excluded countries did not include Saudi Arabia and other nations from which attackers in the US have hailed.

It has sparked widespread chaos at airports and mass protests, seeing 40,000 people descend on London on Saturday. The states of Washington and Minnesota sued the federal government over the travel ban, which Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said significantly harms residents and mandates discrimination.

Judge Robart ruled to immediately stop the ban nationwide after he found "no support" for government lawyers' claims the ban protects the US.

Within hours, government officials had told airlines to begin allowing previously barred passengers to fly, although confusion still reigned among many authorities, embassies and airlines.



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