Following nationwide outrage and riots at various international airports in protest of President Trump’s executive order that essentially blocks refugees from entering the country, a federal judge made the first steps in shutting it down in favor of the American people. After an emergency hearing at a Brooklyn courthouse on Saturday (Jan. 28), Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York ordered a “stay,” which mandates that immigrants with valid visas or green cards could no longer be deported from the country and sent back to their other homes, The New York Post reports.
The stay is reportedly immediate and applies nationwide, according to a statement released by the National Immigration Law Center on Twitter. “This ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off U.S. soil,” the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) deputy director Lee Gelernt, said in a statement.
ACLU’s Executive Director Anthony D. Romero also added that the grant was proof that the courts “worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders.” “Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country,” Romero stated. “On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.”
Unfortunately, Trump’s initial order created quite a problem for migrants in the last 24 hours or so. Under Trump’s order, refugees are restricted from entering the U.S. from seven countries that are predominantly of Muslim faith including: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The order also encourages “extreme vetting” procedures. Nearly a dozen of refugees at airports such at JFK airport in New York, O’Hare International airport in Chicago, and many others across the country, were detained and questioned for hours or deported to their native country, according to reports. Iranian director, Asghar Farhad, who is nominated for an Oscar for his film The Salesman, was one of the people prohibited from entering the country. As a result, he may not be able to enter the U.S. in time for the awards show on Feb. 26.
While protests erupted at various airports, the ACLU, other organizations and pro bono lawyers have been working tirelessly to free the remaining refugees that were detained. A lawsuit was also filed on behalf of individuals who were subject to the ban, arguing that deporting some one with a valid visa or green card is both illegal and unconstitutional. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced on Twitter late Saturday night that the homestay company would be offering refugees free housing.
While it is definitely a victory for refugees and Americans with some morality, the battle isn’t over. The stay is a temporary order that only affects those refugees who were detained or in transit to their homes, and therefore, does not change the ban.