Further legal action leaves travellers to US still in state of confusion

by Ray Clancy on February 6, 2017

People looking to travel to the United States from countries that have been subject to a temporary entry ban are still facing confusion with their legal situation even less clear.

Currently the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has suspended all action relating to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning people with passports, including dual citizens, from seven mainly Muslim countries.

This came after the ninth US circuit court of appeals in San Francisco agreed a temporary order at the weekend restraining the entry ban on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

‘In accordance with the judge’s ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,’ said a DHS spokesman.

‘This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travellers for operational action subject to the Executive Order. DHS personnel will resume inspection of travellers in accordance with standard policy and procedure,’ the spokesman added.

However, the Department of Justice has said it intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President’s Executive Order. ‘The Order is lawful and appropriate. The Order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so,’ said a Whitehouse spokesman.

Although it means that passport holders from the ‘banned’ countries should currently be able to travel to the US and be allowed entry it is not clear how long the latest legal action will take and travellers are advised that they could find the ban in place again at a moment’s notice.

For the latest information the DHS is asking travellers to go to its https://www.dhs.gov/news and individuals who may be affected by the Executive Order can also visit the CBP INFO Center website for additional information. On the webpage people can request additional guidance by clicking on the ‘Email us your Question’ button.

Immigration advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and International Refugee Assistance Project issued a joint statement on Saturday saying that those with visas should consider rebooking travel to the US immediately because the ruling could be overturned or put on hold.

The order had caused unending confusion for many foreigners trying to reach the US and prompted protests across the nation including in Washington outside the Whitehouse and in New York and near Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where Trump was attending the annual American Red Cross fundraising gala at the weekend.

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