U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. issued temporary restraining order which blocks the enforcement of President Trump’s travel ban barring entry to the United States by Muslim visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries via LAX. The injunction was issued in response to a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on behalf of twenty eight American citizens of Yemeni descent and their families.
The decision made by Judge Birotte Jr. will have a two-fold impact: it will enable more than 24 relatives of American citizens stranded in Djibouti on their way to California come to Los Angeles; it will also stop immigration officers at Los Angeles International Airport from detaining – or preventing entry of – any visitor with a valid visa including Muslims from the seven majority-Muslim countries singled out in the President’s executive order.
Among several arguments that support Judge Birotte Jr.’s ruling is the unconstitutionality of President Trump’s executive order which bars the entry to United States by Muslims from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen while – at the same time – allowing entry by Christian visitors from the same countries. The executive order flies in the face of “non-discrimination based on religion”.
A hearing on the case is scheduled for February 10th. During the hearing additional decisions may be made and the current restraining order may become permanent.
(Incidentally, Judge Birotte Jr.’s ruling isn’t the first or the only ruling which protects visitors affected by the discriminatory travel ban. Similar rulings have been issued already in other U.S. cities.)
Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich