SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to set aside a judge’s order that temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s ban on immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries. The federal government’s request for an emergency stay was filed Saturday night with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The filing asks the court to lift an order from a day earlier from a judge in Washington state.
Friday’s ruling from U.S. District Judge James Robart temporarily halted a Trump administration executive order that suspended America’s refugee program and halted immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The administration on Saturday moved to suspend enforcement of the travel ban as the Justice Department readied its legal challenge.
President Donald Trump has lashed out at Robart on Twitter, calling him a “so-called judge.”
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
Meanwhile, visa holders from the seven majority-Muslim countries affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban were hurrying to board U.S.-bound flights following the federal judge’s order temporarily blocking the ban.
Those who could travel immediately were being urged to do so Saturday because of uncertainty over whether the Justice Department would be granted an emergency freeze of the order issued Friday.
An immigration lawyer in Djibouti, Africa, said it wasn’t until well after midnight local time that stranded Yemeni citizens with visas at Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport were finally allowed to board planes. Julie Goldberg says about 40 out of 240 people were able to board their Qatar Airways flights.
German airline Lufthansa cautioned passengers that rules for travel to the U.S. for people from seven countries could change “at any time.”
The airline told passengers Saturday on its website that a judge had halted the ban on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. People with those passports and holding a valid visa “are again allowed to travel to the USA.”
The airline’s statement warns that “short notice changes to the immigration regulations may occur at any time. ”
The airline said the final decision regarding immigration lies with the US authorities.
The airline’s hub in Frankfurt is a major transit point for international travelers heading to the US.
Trump’s immigration sparked worldwide protests on Saturday. About 1000 protesters rallied outside Trump Plaza, a waterfront condo building in West Palm Beach. They planned to march 2 miles to President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, where he is staying this weekend.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.