Call it a small step back towards normalcy.
Stay is granted
— Dale Ho (@dale_e_ho) January 29, 2017
The Federal Court in the Eastern District of New York (with jurisdiction over Queens where New York’s JFK airport is located) issued an emergency and temporary stay late Saturday night, blocking enforcement of the Executive Order banning entry for visa and green card holders from seven countries seeking to enter the United States. Full details are still developing in terms of who is covered and what the broader impact is but, at least for now, a few travelers who were already airborne at the time the Order took effect and who were being detained indefinitely as a result are being granted admission to the USA based on their previously issued credentials.
4 factors have been met: Irreparable harm established, likelihood of success on merits, no harm to govt. Likelihood of class cert.
— Jackie Vimo (@JackieVimo) January 29, 2017
The filing specifically names two people being detained at JFK, both Iraqi citizens who previously provided services to the US government or affiliated organizations and who believe they are being targeted and fear for their lives should they return to Iraq. It also seeks class action status on behalf of all others currently being detained at airports in similar situations. It is unclear if the grant of a stay will eventually apply to the whole class though that appears likely.
This is just a small step forward. The class is only those currently at US airports being detained. It does not – as best as I can tell – apply to those not on US soil and being detained by CBP officials. I expect that similar suits on behalf of members of that class will soon be filed. Or maybe this one suit is enough to push the issue forward such that we can get a Supreme Court ruling on the Executive Order and whether it is legal and can be enforced.
Either way, the expected repercussions of the Order have begun. Earlier today Iran retaliated, indicating that no visas will be issued to US citizens based on the current US policy. Recently there were challenges for US citizens in receiving visas but those had mostly cleared up. Until this debacle unfolded, encouraging Iran to implement a formal block.
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