President Trump’s executive immigration order is having a giant impact already; over 100,000 visas have been revoked in the last week, according to the Department of Justice.
That fact was revealed by Erez Reuveni of the DOJ’s Office of Immigration Litigation in court on Friday. The State Department contradicted the DOJ, asserting that fewer than 60,000 visas were revoked. William Cocks of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs emailed NBC News, “Fewer than 60,000 individuals’ visas were provisionally revoked to comply with the Executive Order.
We recognize that those individuals are temporarily inconvenienced while we conduct our review under the Executive Order. To put that number in context, we issued over 11 million immigrant and non-immigrant visas in fiscal year 2015. As always, national security is our top priority when issuing visas.”
Trump’s order banned Syrian refugees indefinitely, all other refugees for 120 days, and residents of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, as NBC News reported.
The case in court that elicited the information was Aziz v. Trump, filed on behalf of roughly 60 people who were either lawful residents or visa holders but denied entry to the U.S. because of the order.
On Thursday ACLU chapters in all 50 states filed a coordinated Freedom of Information Act request to find out how U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices were implementing the immigration ban.
Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Project Staff Attorney at the ACLU, charged, “Since this past weekend, CBP has demonstrated rank disregard for federal court orders limiting the January 27 Executive Order. It is clear that CBP believes it can operate with impunity and continue treating innocent travelers with callous and inhumane disregard for their basic rights.” She added, “This coordinated FOIA request is an effort to ensure that the American people understand just how CBP is ignoring judicial orders and fundamentally undermining our most basic democratic norms and institutions. This agency must be held publicly accountable for its unlawful conduct.”