Donald Trump clashes with courts over immigration ban

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 6 February 2017 saa 01:14
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US president accuses court system of endangering the country after his controversial travel ban is put on hold.

President Donald Trump has ramped up his criticism of the US court system, accusing it of putting the country in peril.

His comments came hours after a federal appeals court rejected the Trump administration’s request to reinstate a controversial ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

After an unusually long silence, Trump took to Twitter to say he could not "believe a judge would put our country in such peril", arguing that the court system was making it "very difficult" to secure the country.

The ban, which also affected refugees, was blocked by federal judge James Robart on Friday.

The White House and two US states legally challenging the ban - Washington and Minnesota - have until Monday to present further evidence backing up their respective arguments.

Then, the court could schedule a hearing or rule on whether the ban should remain suspended.

In its appeal to Friday’s freeze of the ban, the justice department said the suspension was causing "irreparable harm" to the American public.

It said Robart’s ruling had run afoul of constitutional separation of powers, and "second-guesses the president’s national security judgement".

But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the government’s request for the travel ban to be immediately reinstated, without offering a reason.

The restrictions on all refugees and travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen went into effect on January 27, causing chaos at airports across the US and leaving travellers trying to reach the country in limbo. Refugees from Syria were blocked indefinitely.

The political backlash for Trump has been equally severe, with the order prompting numerous mass protests.

’I’m ecstatic’

Over the weekend, travellers from the targeted countries with valid visas began arriving on American soil.

In New York, 33-year-old Sudanese doctor, Kamal Fadlalla, rejoiced - after a week blocked in his home country, he was back in the Big Apple with friends and colleagues.

"It feels great," Fadlalla told AFP on Sunday at John F Kennedy International Airport. "It was a tough week actually."

Iranian graduate student Sara Yarjani, who was initially deported under Trump’s order, arrived in Los Angeles.

"I am so grateful to all the lawyers and others that helped me," she said tearfully.

In Syria, a 25-year-old law graduate who asked not to be named said he was driving to Beirut on Sunday to catch a flight to Amman and then a connecting flight to New York.

"I jumped up and haven’t been able to sleep since. I’m ecstatic," the man told AFP.

The state department has said visa holders from the seven countries are allowed to travel to the US as long as their documents have not been "physically cancelled".

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Donald Trump has said he is confident his administration will succeed in reinstating the ban