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Press Release: Advocacy Organizations Applaud Reinstatement of Visas, Encourage Travelers to Take Note of Recent Ruling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     

February 4, 2017


Henrike Dessaules



(New York, NY) – The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, Make the Road New York, and the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School applaud last night’s ruling of a federal judge in Washington state, which halts the implementation of parts of President Trump’s travel ban nationwide. As a result of this temporary restraining order, citizens of the seven affected countries will have their revoked visas reinstated (unless they were stamped ‘canceled’) and will be allowed to travel to the United States. The judge’s ruling also prohibits the executive order’s freeze on refugee admissions, including the indefinite ban on Syrian refugee admissions.

In light of this, we encourage all travelers from the seven affected countries to take note of this recent ruling and consider rebooking travel to the United States immediately, while the stay of the executive order remains in place and visas are valid. For more information for travelers, visit this page.

IRAP’s Director, Becca Heller, stated: “The ruling by Judge James Robart in Washington demonstrates yet again the illegitimacy of the executive order. We encourage all U.S. visa holders who have been affected by the order to travel to the United States as soon as possible, while the stay is in place. We also call for the instant resumption of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to immediately take the most vulnerable refugees out of harm’s way.

“We strongly urge all enforcing entities to comply with the judge’s ruling for the duration of its validity. The reinstatement of visas is the only right move to remedy the situation of the last week, which has caused havoc here in the United States and across the world,” Heller added.

Omar Jadwat, Director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, commented: “This ruling is another stinging rejection of President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban. We will keep fighting to permanently dismantle this un-American executive order.”

NILC Legal Director Karen Tumlin added: “Washington Attorney General Ferguson reminded President Trump that the Constitution protects all of us — not just the rich and powerful. We look forward to working with him and others to fight back against every unlawful attack on immigrants and refugees.”

Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, emphasized: “Yesterday, a federal judge dealt a major blow to President Trump’s unconstitutional executive order. With this backward policy halted, we urge everyone with valid visas from affected countries to come to the United States immediately. While we are confident that the court will continue to reject the President’s Muslim and refugee ban, we believe valid visa holders should travel here now to ensure they are let into the country.”

Clare Kane, a law student intern at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at the Yale Law School, added: “We have been in contact with hundreds of people impacted by the ban, and we are urging them to get on planes as quickly as possible.”

Heller added: “We would like to thank all of the airlines that notified affected passengers in compliance with the order: Air France, British Airways, Egyptair, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, and Qatar Airways.

“This ruling provides tremendous relief to the thousands of people that have been trying to reach the United States for sometimes urgent reasons and who were prevented from doing so by the discriminatory and unconstitutional order. The executive order has caused enough harm already. It’s time to revoke it indefinitely,” Heller concluded.

Information for affected travellers can be found here:

To view the press release, click here: ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS APPLAUD REINSTATEMENT OF VISAS Press Release Feb 4 2017

International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center