This is an important development. This afternoon a Federal judge in Washington State has issued a restraining order that immediately blocks the travel ban. It is a powerful step. The Whitehouse has issued a statement that they intend to appeal the decision, and that appeal could be lodged and heard over the weekend. However, as of right now the travel ban is lifted. Customs and Border Patrol (who enforce the travel ban) have told airlines that visas will be reinstated, and the airlines can allow people from the affected countries to board US bound flights, just as if the EO had never been issued.
To be clear, the order (which can be read here) specifically blocks the 90 day ban on immigrants and non immigrants, the 120 day bar on refugees and so on. The whole thing. It is a restraining order which is an order that restores the status quo immediately prior to the EO was signed. It is a temporary restraining order to give time to argue the points in a court of law so that people are not improperly disadvantaged in the meantime. The standard or proof to obtain such an order is very high. The order can only be granted if such arguments are likely to succeed when the matter goes to court.
HOWEVER, I am not suggesting anyone rushes down to the airport and gets on a flight. Trump must be LIVID at being blocked this way and will directing his team to be doing everything they can to re-impose their authority. It would NOT be a surprise to see the position reverse again. However, if I happened to be an affected DV selectee with an issued visa that was “provisionally revoked” in the last few days and I happened to be sitting in Canada within driving distance of the border, I would be jumping in my car right now to get to the border. BUT doing the same thing by international flight would be very risky as you could easily be denied entry at the airport if Trump’s lawyers can move quickly.
So – bottomline, this is an important step, but please don’t act on it until the dust settles and we know where we stand. I will of course update this page as I hear further news.