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07 February 2017

Trump calls for ‘careful’ border checks after travel ban setback

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President Donald Trump says he has told US border officials to check people entering America “very carefully”, as his travel ban remains suspended.

He said the courts were “making the job very difficult”, and should take the blame if something happened.

The federal appeals court on Saturday rejected the Trump administration’s request to reinstate the ban.

The ban, affecting people from seven mainly-Muslim countries, was blocked by a federal judge on Friday.

This means that Mr Trump’s directive will remain suspended and visa holders Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen will be allowed to enter the US until the full case has been heard.

The White House and two US states challenging the ban have been given a deadline of Monday to present more arguments.

President Trump on Sunday ramped up his criticism of Seattle Judge James Robart, who blocked the ban, and the country’s judiciary.

In a series of tweets, Mr Trump said: “I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY.”

“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”

The president earlier called Judge Robart’s ruling “ridiculous”, described him as a “so-called judge”.

In its appeal, the Justice Department said Judge Robart had overreached by “second guessing” the president on a national security matter.

It also argued that only the president could decide who can enter or stay in the US.

The two states challenging the restriction – Washington and Minnesota – argued that the ban was unconstitutional and denied people with valid entry documents the right to travel without due process.

It also violated freedom of religion rights by appearing to target Muslims, they said.

Democrats and some Republicans have criticised Mr Trump’s comments about the country’s judiciary.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Mr Trump seemed “intent on precipitating a constitutional crisis”.

Meanwhile, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell told CNN it was “best to avoid criticising judges individually”.

Judge Robart has served on the federal bench since 2004 after nomination by President George W Bush.

riday’s ruling has also seen visa holders from the affected nations scramble to get flights to the US, fearing they have a slim window to enter.

The State Department has been reversing visa cancellations and US homeland security employees have been told by their department to comply with the ruling.

The ban caused confusion at US and foreign airports when it came into force.

Source: BBC

 

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