A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the government from suspending the entry of nationals from designated countries of concern under President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 Executive Order.

The states of Minnesota and Washington brought the lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to enforcement of the Executive Order until the court can hear arguments on a preliminary injunction.

The White House has indicated that it will seek a stay of the court order. The government has not yet stated whether it will reinstate nonimmigrant visas that were canceled in connection with the Executive Order or whether it will issue new visas to those individuals.

Background: President Trump issued the Executive Order Jan. 27, suspending entry to the U.S. for nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The order took effect immediately and has stranded tens of thousands of travelers abroad and at U.S. ports of entry. Several federal courts around the country have issued emergency stays. The current court order operates nationwide and expressly prohibits enforcement of certain sections of the Executive Order at all U.S. borders and ports of entry pending further orders from the court.

BAL Analysis: BAL is reviewing the decision and carefully monitoring the government’s reaction, and will continue to provide updates on relevant developments.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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