BREAKINGFeb 3 2017, 8:37 pm ET
U.S. Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump Immigration Order Nationwide
by Phil HelselWA State Attorney General: 'The President's Executive Order Does Not Apply' 1:59
A federal judge in Washington state on Friday temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's executive order that put a hold on entry to the U.S. of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations, the state attorney general said.
The temporary restraining order applies nationwide, Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office said.
"The Constitution prevailed today," Ferguson said in a statement. "No one is above the law — not even the President."
The restraining order will be in effect until U.S. District Court Senior Judge James L. Robart considers a legal challenge filed by the attorney general, Ferguson's office said.
A Department of Homeland Security official told NBC News that the judge's order will have no immediate practical effect. All previously issued visas from the seven affected countries were canceled by last week's executive order, the official said, meaning people would have to reapply.
The Trump administration could seek a stay of the Seattle judge's order. Acting DHS press secretary Gillian Christensen said "as a matter of policy, we don't comment on pending litigation."
Washington state announced on Monday that it was filing a federal lawsuit challenging the executive order, which Trump signed on Jan. 27 as part of an executive action the president said was aimed at keeping Americans safe from terrorism.
"The state has met its burden in demonstrating immediate and irreparable injury," Robart said in issuing the restraining order Friday.JAN. 30: Families: Relatives in Limbo After Pres. Trump's Travel Ban 2:11
Trump's executive order suspends entry for 90 days for nationals of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement Friday that the "pause" does not apply to lawful permanent residents or dual citizens.
The executive order also temporarily halted the U.S. refugee program, and indefinitely suspended the admission of Syrian refugees.
"Judge Robart's decision, effective immediately, effective now, puts a halt to President Trump's unconstitutional and unlawful executive order," Ferguson said. "It puts a stop to it immediately, nationwide."
Implementation of the order caused chaos at airports after over the weekend. Among those reported temporarily detained were an Iraqi refugee who worked with the U.S. government, green card holders and professors.
Critics have called the order a "Muslim ban," which Trump has denied. Protests erupted at several large airports across the country after Trump signed the order.
Amnesty International, one of several groups who opposed the executive order, said "this decision is a short-term relief for thousands of people whose lives have been upended, but Congress must step in and block this unlawful ban for good."
Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat and Senate Minority Leader, called the judge's restraining order "a victory for the Constitution and for all of us who believe this un-American executive order will not make us safer," and said Trump should rescind it.
Trump earlier Friday appeared to reference his controversial order in a Tweet that read: "We must keep "evil" out of our country!"JAN. 28: Trump's 'Extreme Vetting' Leaves Thousands Scrambling At Airports 2:22Phil HelselContributors The Associated PressFirst Published Feb 3 2017, 7:48 pm ET