Friday afternoon, a Federal District Court Judge from the State of Washington issued a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) preventing enforcement of President Trump’s Executive Order (“EO”) which banned individuals from seven countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and which stopped refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days.
In his decision, the Judge found that found that the Statutory provision on which the President relied in the EO, Section 212(f), was enacted prior to the nondiscrimination provisions at 8 USC 1152(a), which requires that no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence and that 212(f) did not trump the nondiscrimination clause. Moreover, the Judge found that there was direct and immediate harm to state institutions and state residents and was satisfied with the likely success on the merits of the overall lawsuit by the States of Washington and Minnesota.
Practically, this TRO is a nation-wide restraining order which means that all federal agencies are temporarily stopped from enforcing the EO. Moreover, the Department of State has confirmed that, assuming there is no other issue with the visa, provisionally revoked visas have been reinstated. The case will continue to go through the legal appeals process so it is critical to understand that the restraining order is temporary in nature. Moreover, President Trump has indicated via Twitter that he will fight this TRO. As such, SPS Immigration recommends that individuals impacted by the EO continue to seek legal counsel before traveling internationally.