Trump slams judge after travel ban setback

U.S. President Donald Trump has attacked the judge who blocked his travel ban, saying that Americans should blame the courts if something happens.

Trump added he had instructed border officials to check carefully people entering America.

The ban, affecting people from seven mainly-Muslim countries, was blocked by the federal judge in Seattle on Friday.

Saturday saw a federal appeals court reject Trump’s administration request to reinstate the ban.

This means that Trump’s directive will remain suspended and visa holders from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen will be allowed to enter the U.S. until the full case has been heard.

The justice department and two U.S. states challenging the ban- Washington and Minnesota- have been asked to present more arguments.

In their latest submission to the appeals court, the two states said that lifting the suspension would unleash chaos and adversely affect their economies.

They also lodged a statement by a host of national security experts, including former secretaries of state John Kerry and Madeleine Albright as well as former CIA director Leon Panetta, which describes the travel ban as ineffective, dangerous and counterproductive.

Trump has ramped up his criticism of Judge James Robart, who blocked the ban, and the country’s judiciary.

In a series of tweets, Trump said: “I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country very carefully. The courts are making the job very difficult!”

“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system and people pouring in Bad!” Trump stated.

He had earlier called Judge Robart’s ruling ridiculous, describing him as a so-called judge.

•All persons arriving at a US port of entry are inspected by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers

•Visitors must have valid US visas or hold “Green Cards that authorise them to live and work in the US permanently

•Travellers under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorisation via ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before their visit

•Visitors must complete declaration forms

•Travellers may have their fingerprints and photos taken

•CBP officers may also ask to inspect luggage or personal items

•CBP uses biometric technologies to verify travellers’ identities

•Travellers from certain countries can use Automated Passport Control (APC)

U.S. federal judge James Robart’s ruling is a temporary restraining order preventing elements of Trump’s executive order being implemented in order to allow the two states time to mount a legal challenge to them.

Washington and Minnesota argue that the ban is unconstitutional and denied people with valid entry document the right in order to travel without legal recourse.

It also violated freedom of religion rights by appearing to target Muslims, they said.

The ruling suspends the seven-country travel ban; the temporary refugee admissions ban; the reprioritisation of minority religion refugee claims; and the ban on Syrian refugees.

The cap on overall US refugee admissions this year of 50,000 is not covered by the judge’s ruling.

In its appeal, the justice department said that Judge Robart had overreached by second guessing the president on a national security matter.

It also argued that only the president could decide who can enter or stay in the US.

Democrats and some Republicans have criticised Trump’s comments about the country’s judiciary.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Trump seemed intent on precipitating a constitutional crisis.

Meanwhile, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said that it was best to avoid criticising judges individually.

Judge Robart has served on the federal bench since 2004 after nomination by President George W Bush.

Friday’s ruling has also seen visa holders from the affected nations scramble to get flights to the United States, fearing they have a slim window to enter.

The state department has been reversing visa cancellations and U.S. homeland security employees have been told by their department to comply with the ruling.

The ban caused confusion at U.S. and foreign airports when it came into force.

Polls suggest that US public opinion is sharply divided on the travel ban.

Source: BBC

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