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White House in chaos after U.S. judge blocks Trump's travel ban

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

02-04-2017 19:23 BJT

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The White House is plunged into chaos on Friday after a U.S. judge ruled against President Donald Trump's executive order of temporarily banning global refugees and nationals of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States.

U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, Washington, ruled Friday that Trump's order would be suspended nationwide, effective immediately.

In response, the Trump administration vowed to overturn the court ruling "at the earliest possible time" to rescue the controversial executive order, which has sparked nationwide protests and criticism since it was issued on Jan. 27.

It's unclear how the judge's ruling will affect the operations of the federal government in the coming days.

"The Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the president, which we believe is lawful and appropriate," the White House said late Friday in a statement.

Yet within 10 minutes, it sent out a new edition removing the word "outrageous."

"The president's order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people," said the statement.

Robart ruled that the two states of Washington and Minnesota had standing to challenge Trump's order, which government lawyers disputed.

"Judge Robart's decision, effective immediately ... puts a halt to President Trump's unconstitutional and unlawful executive order," said Washington State Attorney General Bot Ferguson after the ruling.

"The law is a powerful thing -- it has the ability to hold everybody accountable to it, and that includes the president of the United States, " he was quoted by USA Today as saying.

Washington is the first U.S. state to sue over Trump's executive order. The state's efforts gained support from Amazon, Expedia and Microsoft, all based in the state, said the report.

However, the judge's ruling could be appealed at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gillian M. Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Up to 60,000 visas had ben revoked under Trump's order barring entry to global refugees for 120 days and to people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen for 90 days, said the U.S. State Department earlier Friday.

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

On Sunday, tens of thousands of protesters rallied before the White House, at more than 30 U.S. airports, and in downtown areas of big cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago.

A new wave of protests are expected on the way over the upcoming weekend in Washington D.C. and some other big cities across the United States.

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