A federal court judge on Saturday night ordered that refugees and other immigrants stuck at American airports should not be sent back to their home countries

By Andrew Nusca
Updated January 28, 2017 09:51 PM
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Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty
Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

A federal court judge on Saturday night ordered that refugees and other immigrants stuck at American airports should not be sent back to their home countries after President Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking them from entering the U.S.

In an emergency hearing in a Brooklyn courthouse, Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York issued a stay of proceedings for President Donald Trump’s executive order, which bars citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The judge neither allowed detainees to enter the country nor addressed the constitutionality of Trump’s actions.

The stay is immediate and applies nationwide, according to a statement by the National Immigration Law Center. Attorneys were working pro bono through the weekend on cases for those impacted by the sudden order, which Trump signed on Friday evening.

No immigrants blocked by the new executive order may be removed at this time, according to Dale Ho, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, and the U.S. government must provide a list of those immigrants who are affected by the change in policy.

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The stay only affects those immigrants who were detained at U.S. airports or are currently in transit, according to ProPublica senior reporting fellow Jessica Huseman, and does not impact those who have not yet left for the United States.