Washington: The US Department of Homeland Security said on Sunday that it would continue to enforce President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive order restricting immigration, but would also comply with court orders which have partially blocked the temporary ban.
“The president’s executive orders remain in place — prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the US government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety,” the agency said in a statement.
“The president’s executive order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America’s borders and national security.”
But the DHS also said it would “comply with judicial orders” — presumably including a federal judge’s ruling that ordered authorities not to deport refugees and other travelers detained at US borders.
US District Judge Ann Donnelly granted the stay late Saturday, writing in her decision that sending those travelers back to their home countries following Trump’s order exposes them to “substantial and irreparable injury.”
Mr Trump’s executive order, signed on Friday, suspends the arrival of refugees for at least 120 days and bars visas for travelers from seven Muslim majority countries for the next three months.
Judge Donnelly’s ruling – which did not touch on the constitutionality of Trump’s crackdown – coincided with a wave of anger and concern abroad, including among US allies, and rallies at major airports across the United States.
A second federal judge in Virginia also issued a temporary order restricting immigration authorities for seven days from deporting legal permanent residents detained at Dulles Airport just outside Washington.