Sunday, February 5, 2017 5:33 pm
Travellers from seven mainly Muslim countries affected by the initial immigration order by President Donald Trump have started rushing to board U.S. flights, Reuters report Sunday.
This is sequel to a U.S. Appeal Court judgment which halted the execution of the order from President Donald Trump barring citizens from those countries and temporarily banning refugees.
The court ruling dealt a further setback to Trump, who has denounced the judge in the state of Washington who blocked his executive order on Friday.
In tweets and comments to reporters, the president had insisted he would get the ban reinstated.
Trump had said the 90-day travel ban on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and a 120-day bar on all refugees, were necessary.
He said this was to protect the U.S. from Islamist militants but critics said the measures are unjustified and discriminatory.
The judge’s order and the appeal ruling have created what may be a short-lived opportunity for travelers from the seven affected countries to get into the United States while the legal uncertainty continues.
“This is the first time I try to travel to America. We were booked to travel next week but decided to bring it forward after we heard,” said a Yemeni woman.
The woman who was recently married to a U.S. citizen, boarded a plane from Cairo to Turkey on Sunday to connect with a U.S. bound flight.
She declined to be named for fear it could complicate her entry into the United States.
In a brief order, the U.S. Appeal Court said the government’s request for an immediate administrative stay on the Washington judge’s decision had been denied.
It was awaiting further submissions from Washington and Minnesota states on Sunday, and from the government on Monday.
The U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security said they were complying with the directive and many visitors are expected to start arriving on Sunday
Government has said it expected to begin admitting refugees again on Monday.
Reuters reports that Iraqi Fuad Sharef, his wife and three children spent two years obtaining U.S. visas.
They had packed up to move to America last week, but were turned back to Iraq after a failed attempt to board a U.S.-bound flight from Cairo.
On Sunday, the family checked in for a Turkish Airlines flight to New York from Istanbul.
“Yeah, we are very excited. We are very happy,” Sharef told Reuters.
“Finally, we have been cleared. We are allowed to enter the U.S,” he said.
Rana Shamasha, 32, an Iraqi refugee in Lebanon, was due to travel to the United States with her two sisters and mother on Feb. 1 to join relatives in Detroit until their trip was cancelled as a result of the travel ban.
She is now waiting to hear from U.N. officials overseeing their case. “If they tell me there is a plane tomorrow morning, I will go.
“If they tell me there is one in an hour, I will go,” she told Reuters by telephone in Beirut, saying their bags were still packed.
“I no longer have a house here, work, or anything,” she said.
An official at Beirut airport said three Syrian families had left for the United States via Europe on Sunday morning.
“Airline sources in Cairo said that 33 people from the seven affected countries had been allowed to board U.S.-bound flights since Saturday.