Washington, DC – The US State Department today (Feb 4) announced that it was now allowing people to travel to the US if their visas were not physically cancelled and they still have valid visas. The decision was issued to comply with a Seattle federal judge order which threw out President Donald Trump’s earlier executive action.
“We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas under Executive Order 13769. Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid,” said a State Department official in a statement.
“The Department of Justice informed us of the Washington state court ruling barring the US government from enforcing certain provisions of Executive Order 13769, including those related to visas and travel,” the official explained.
“We are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and our legal teams,” continued the statement, promising to “provide further updates as soon as information is available.”
The state department had cancelled some 60,000 visas for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen as a result of Trump’s executive action.
Meanwhile airlines had started allowing passengers from countries that had been banned to board planes to the US.
Earlier, Trump was denouncing in his tweets the “ridiculous” ruling and the “so-called judge” who issued it, vowing it would be overturned.
His early morning tweet said: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”
In his judgement Judge James Robart, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, declared that Trump’s immigration order, restricting the entry of people from seven predominantly Shia Muslim countries, was invalid because the government was “arguing that we have to protect the US from individuals from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”
His administration is now filing for an emergency stay to reinstate the ban, making the situation fluid.