Justice Department requests emergency freeze of lifting of travel ban

Protesters against President Trump's temporary travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations stand in front of the Bradley Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

(AP) — Visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban are hurrying to board U.S.-bound flights following a 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.

On Saturday night, the Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to set aside a judge’s order that temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s travel ban.

The federal government’s request for an emergency stay was filed Saturday night with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The filing asks the court to lift an order from a day earlier from a judge in Washington state.

The 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.”

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