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Federal Judge Stays Trump's Order to Remove Immigrants, Refugees Here Legally

Executive action targeted travelers from seven Muslim-dominated countries.

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Protests
Justin Lane/EPA/Newscom

The American Civil Liberties Union has at least temporarily halted President Donald Trump's attempt to turn away refugees and travelers from a handful of selected Muslim-dominated countries.

As Matt Welch wrote this morning, Trump's order banning travelers and refugees from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen included people who had already been approved to live legally within in the United States and had even been here for years. As a result, immigrants and refugees from these countries who were returning home to the United States were being detained at airports after this order was implemented and were unable to enter the country.

The ACLU quickly sued, representing two Iraqis detained at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. This evening a judge ruled in the ACLU's favor, putting a temporary stay on the president's order.

To be clear, the judge's order specifically covers immigrants and refugees from these countries who have already been approved to travel and live in the United States and only those people. The government cannot simply eject people it has already given green cards and visas to without due process, the ACLU argued. The judge found that argument compelling enough that she concluded that it was likely to win, thus helping convince her to grant the stay.

Read the full three-page ruling here. But the relevant conclusion is right below:

Court order
ACLU

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero responded:

"Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country. Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court."