Trump bid to restore travel ban rejected

Media caption“We are very excited, we are very happy” – Iraqi national flies to the US with his family

The US federal appeals court has rejected the Trump administration’s request to reinstate a travel ban blocked by a federal judge on Friday.

The late night ruling means the travel ban will remain suspended until the full case has been heard.

The court gave the White House and the states challenging it a deadline of Monday to present more arguments.

State lawyers had said the travel ban, affecting people from seven countries, was unconstitutional.

In its appeal, the Justice Department said blocking the travel ban amounted to questioning President Trump’s judgment on national security risk.

It also argued that Mr Trump’s ban did not discriminate against freedom of religion rights because it was targeted at specific countries, ABC reported.

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The travel ban has attracted protests

In Friday’s case, the Justice Department had argued that states did not have the authority to challenge a presidential executive order.

Visa holders from the affected nations have been scrambling to get flights to the US since Friday’s decision by Judge James Robart in Seattle, fearing they have a slim window to enter.

Mr Trump called Judge Robart’s ruling “ridiculous”, vowing to restore the ban.

The travel ban caused confusion at US and foreign airports when it came into force.

The ban envisages a 90-day visa suspension for anyone arriving from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

The directive also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days, and places an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

It has led to protests in US cities and around the world.