Trump's travel ban on 7 MENA countries has been lifted
Airlines are now accepting passengers travelling to the US from seven previously banned countries in the MENA region, provided they have the correct travel documents.
This comes after US District Judge James Robart lifted a travel ban issued by Donald Trump, who signed an executive order to stop citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days while the visa process is tightened.
“Acceptance will naturally be subject to checks completed by U.S. authorities as existed prior to the issuance of the Executive Order on 27 January,” an Etihad spokesman told Reuters.
The judge’s decision to lift the ban also means that the 120 day block on refugees has been stopped, and officials expect some refugees to start arriving on Monday.
Donald Trump tweeted his thoughts on the decision, saying: “Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision.”
He also tweeted: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”
His flurry of angry posts included one that simply read: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.”
Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
As the ban has been stopped with immediate effect, airlines including Qatar Airways, Air France, Etihad Airways and Lufthansa are accepting previously blocked passengers from the 7 MENA countries. However, Trump has made it clear that he is looking to have this decision revoked as soon as possible.
This comes after widespread backlash to the ban, which saw protesters in Brooklyn chanting “Let them stay, it’s the American way.” At the time, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has advised citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, who were already in the US, not to leave the country at the moment in case they will not be allowed back in.
It’s not yet clear whether the ban will be reinstated or not.