Federal judge James Robart of the Western Washington District Court has just issued a temporary restraining order stopping the enforcement of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban targeting citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.
Judge Robart, who was appointed by Pres. George W. Bush, is the first judge to issue a nationwide injunction on the “travel” ban that Trump surrogate Rudy Giulani admitted was designed to specifically target Muslims. This ruling “potentially puts the case on a fast track to the Supreme Court” notes the Hill, which we all remember is still deadlocked at eight judges after Republican obstructionism prevented Pres. Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, from even having a hearing.
The ban bars citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia from entering the nation for 90 days. Since Trump’s executive order, hundreds have been stranded and hundreds of thousands of green-card holders have found they cannot return home thanks to overly zealous enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security.
The ban targets nations largely suffering from chronic instability, much of it exacerbated by American foreign intervention. No citizens of those nations have carried out fatal terrorist attacks within the United States; citizens of the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism and the nation where the September 11th hijackers originated from, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are still allowed to travel to the United States.
The restraining order is temporary and it is yet to be seen if law enforcement will comply with the order. Scattered reports are indicating that immigration officials may be ignoring court orders to cease detaining and deporting. But it is welcome news to critics and to the hundreds of people who are terrified they may never be able to return to their homes.