President Trump's executive order banning refugees from predominantly Muslim countries left many detained and facing deportation on Saturday, January 28. The American people are speaking out in protest — on Twitter and at airports across the country. The ban is far-reaching: It prevents the entry of any refugees for 120 days, bans citizens of seven Muslim countries (including green card holders) for 90 days, and blocks Syrian refugees indefinitely. The White Hosue reversed it's position on green card holders, allowing that they will be admitted to the country, the New York Times reports. Amidst the protests, Trump told reporters that the ban was "working out nicely," the BBC reports. Saturday, the ACLU and other legal groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of those subject to what the organization calls "Trump's new Muslim ban" — the plaintiffs were those being detained despite valid visas to enter the United States. According to The New York Times, the lawsuit cited President Trump's "constitutional and legal overreach." Four federal judges have since issued temporary stays blocking the ban, all of whom were women. Brooklyn Judge Anne M. Donnelly was the first, ruling at around 9 p.m. ET on Saturday night that deportation of those detained would cause them "irreparable harm" but did not address the constitutionality of Trump's order. Minutes later, in Virginia, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema followed suit. She issued a temporary restraining order forbidding the deportation of permanent residents being detained at Dulles International — and permitting their access to lawyers. Judge Thomas S. Zilly also issued a similar stay in Washington, D.C. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, two federal judges in Boston also moved to temporarily halt Trump's ban with a seven-day restraining order, The Boston Globe reports. Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein ruled there was "a strong likelihood of success" that the executive order would violate the constitutional rights of immigrants.
One of the lawyers in the Boston case, Susan Church, told the Globe, “It’s a great victory today. What’s most important about today is this is what makes America great, the fact that we have the rule of law.” Although it is unclear whether these rulings will require detainees to be admitted into the U.S., NPR reports that all detainees in Chicago were indeed released in response to Donnelly's order. However, The BBC estimates that 100-200 people are currently being held at U.S. airports, and today's statement from Homeland Security is far from reassuring: "The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people."
“Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country," explained ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero in a statement. "Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.” Trump responded on Twitter, defending extreme vetting.