After a federal judge in Seattle halted President Donald Trump’s travel ban on Friday night, the Yale Law group that had previously helped block part of the ban issued a statement urging travelers from the affected Muslim-majority countries to rebook their flights to the United States before the White House makes strides in its appeal to restore the ban.
In a joint statement released on Saturday with four other nation’s leading civil rights advocacy groups, the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at the Law School — one of the advocacy groups continuously engaged in blocking the executive order and supporting immigrants and refugees stranded at the airports — encouraged all travelers from the seven affected countries to return to the U.S. while the executive order is on hold and their visas are valid.
“We have been in contact with hundreds of people impacted by the ban, and we are thrilled that a federal court recognized the unlawfulness of the Trump administration’s ban,” Clare Kane LAW ’19, another member of the team, said in the joint statement.
The ruling by the Seattle judge, James Robart, marked the strongest judicial reversal of the executive order so far. Unlike previous court rulings blocking aspects of the executive order, Robart froze all relevant provisions nationwide, including the indefinite ban on Syrian refugee admissions.
The State Department reported on Friday that fewer than 60,000 visas have been revoked since the implementation of the executive order, and in compliance with the Seattle ruling, federal agencies will move to restore the revoked visas.
In a Twitter post on Saturday, Trump lashed out at Robart and ridiculed the court decision. Despite Trump’s derision, officials from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have moved quickly to comply with the judge’s order.
“Federal judges and their rulings deserve respect, even if you are on the losing side, from an executive official who just two weeks ago swore an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,’” said former Law School Dean Harold Koh, who served as Legal Adviser of the Department of State for four years under the Obama administration.
The Seattle case was filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson last Monday. Amit Jain LAW ’18, a member of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, said the group is not currently representing any parties in the Washington lawsuit. He added that the organization continues to track compliance with the ruling across the country.
Kane stressed that the Trump administration would soon take action to appeal the judge’s ruling. The first appeal by the Justice Department was rejected early Sunday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. Despite the initial setback, The New York Times reported Saturday that Trump was confident about the success of the appeal.