Homeland Security, State Dept. halts 'travel ban' enforcement

The State Department and Department of Homeland Security suspended enforcement of the so-called "travel ban" for foreigners.

Homeland Security, State Dept. halts 'travel ban' enforcement

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The State Department and Department of Homeland Security suspended enforcement of the so-called "travel ban" for foreigners Saturday after a federal judge halted President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

"In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, 'Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.' This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order," Department of Homeland Security acting press secretary Gillian Christensen said.

The State Department said some 60,000 visas were revoked since the order to stop travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering America was signed on Jan. 27. The order denied citizens of the countries entry into the United States for 90 days, refugees for 120 days and indefinitely stopped Syrian refugees.

Even before the announcements, major international carriers that included Qatar Airways and Germay's Lufthansa began acting on the judge's ruling, allowing travelers covered under the ban to board flights. Qatar Airways, which services countries covered under the ban, said it was directed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to board nationals with valid documents from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

The reversal comes in response to U.S. District Court Judge James Robart's ruling Friday night that upheld a challenge to Trump's order from the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota.

Trump unleashed a tweetstorm following the judge's ruling, saying, "this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"