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US Justice Dept seeks to overturn court ruling blocking Trump's travel ban

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-05 16:25

WASHINGTON - The US Justice Department on Saturday filed a notice of appeal seeking to challenge a federal judge's ruling that has suspended President Donald Trump's executive order of temporarily banning global refugees and nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The formal notice was filed in the US District Court of the Western District of Washington and the case now goes to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, according to local media reports.

Federal judge James Robart in Seattle, Washington state, ruled Friday that Trump's executive order on the travel ban would be suspended nationwide.

In response, the White House said the administration would seek an emergency stay against Robart's ruling, defending the travel restrictions as legal.

On Saturday, the US Homeland Security Department said it had suspended all actions under the travel ban in accordance with the judge's ruling.

The US State Department also announced it had reversed revocation of visas for foreigners covered by the travel ban, saying that they now may travel to the United States with a valid visa.

Throughout Saturday, Trump criticized Robart for his ruling. He tweeted on Saturday evening: "The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!"

"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

Trump signed an executive order on Jan 27 that bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen from traveling to the United States for 90 days, stops accepting refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.

Up to 60,000 visas have been revoked since then, sparking mass protests at major airports and cities in the country and some other countries, as protesters decried it as a "Muslim ban" that targets people because of their faith.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Washington DC on Saturday to demonstrate against Trump's order.

Since the inauguration, Trump has been named in 52 federal lawsuits in 17 US states, many of the cases filed over his executive order on refugees and immigration, according to an NBC News report citing the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

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