LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A federal judge in Los Angeles has issued a restraining order blocking the enforcement of President Donald Trump’s executive order that prevents visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
The temporary restraining order, issued late Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr., allows more than two dozen people from Yemen to fly into Los Angeles International Airport from Djibouti, an African country near Yemen, where they were stopped from boarding an LAX-bound flight over the weekend.
The order extends beyond the roughly two dozen plaintiffs, with Birotte also barring immigration officials at LAX from blocking the entry of any person from the seven countries included in Trump’s order, as long as they have valid immigrant visas.
The plaintiffs “have shown that they are likely to succeed on the merits of claims that would entitle them to relief,” Birotte wrote in the order, noting that the injunction is “in the public interest.”
The court scheduled a hearing on the matter for Feb. 10, at which time the judge could issue further orders and may make his temporary order permanent.
“It’s comforting to see a federal judge issuing this order and following the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law,” said Neal Zaslavsky, a West Hollywood attorney who is among several lawyers working on the case.
The ruling, while similar to orders issued by judges in Seattle and elsewhere, applies to a lawsuit filed Tuesday under seal in federal court in Los Angeles on behalf of 28 plaintiffs who are United States citizens of Yemeni descent and their family members.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys contend that Trump’s executive order violates equal protection, due process and other constitutional protections. The order singles out Muslims, but allows Christians to come into the United States from Syria, Iran, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
Trump’s immigration ban is scheduled to last 90 days. The order also suspended refugee admissions from all countries for 120 days pending a review of the program.
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