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L.A. Federal Judge Orders Another Temporary Halt To Trump's Travel Ban

Protesters at LAX on Tuesday night. (Photo by Julia Wick/LAist)
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A federal judge in Los Angeles issued a restraining order Tuesday night blocking the enforcement of part of President Trump's immigration ban, according to the L.A. Times.

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ruled on a case filed on behalf of 28 Yemeni-born people who had received immigrant visas to come to the United States. The ruling grants a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the executive order signed by Trump on Friday. The judge's decision only applies to people with valid immigrant visas from the seven majority-Muslim countries on Trump's list; these are different from the visas held by students, tourists, and refugees, according to KPCC. Birotte's isn't the first legal ruling on the executive order: a federal judge in New York granted an emergency stay on Saturday night as thousands protested across the country, though it's not entirely clear to what degree that stay has been enforced. According to the IB Times, Birotte is now the fifth jurist to issue a ruling blocking some portion of the president's executive order.

Birotte's order directs federal agents to stop "removing, detaining, or blocking the entry of Plaintiffs, or any other person from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a valid immigrant visa..." under the Trump travel ban.

KPCC reports that attorney Julie Ann Goldberg filed the class-action suit Tuesday on behalf of more than two dozen people from Yemen who had been waiting to travel to the United States from Djibouti after fleeing civil war in Yemen.

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"These 28 people were not allowed to pick up their passports (from the U.S. Embassy). I have some families that are pretty devastated. I have a father who had his visa issued, and he got his passport, but his four-year-old child's is still at the enbassy. It has created this separation among families," Goldberg told KPCC by phone from Djibouti.

On Tuesday night, Kayleen Hartman, a coordinator for Immigrant Defenders Law Center, told LAist that—to the knowledge of the volunteer attorneys working at LAX—only people with green cards (i.e. legal permanent residents) were being allowed on planes to Los Angeles, and that others were being turned away from boarding.

Birotte himself is the son of Haitian refugees, according to KPCC. He was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by the Senate in 2014.