WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Justice Department on late Saturday filed a notice of appeal seeking the reinstatement of President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The latest turn of events triggered a new round of fights over the legitimacy of the ban, which has not only sparked mass protests across the United States, but has also created panic and drawn criticism around the globe.
SUSPENSION & REVERSION
The formal notice was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington and the case now goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, according to U.S. media reports.
The move came after Trump's order was suspended late Friday by federal judge James Robart in Seattle, Washington state.
In response, the White House said the administration would seek an emergency stay against Robart's ruling, defending the travel restrictions as legal.
On Saturday, the U.S. Homeland Security Department said it had suspended all actions under the travel ban in accordance with the judge's ruling.
Last week, Trump signed an executive order which bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen from traveling to the United States for 90 days, stops accepting refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.
The total population from these countries exceeds 130 million and up to 60,000 visas have been revoked since then.
However, the State Department on Saturday announced it had reversed the revocation of visas for foreigners covered by the travel ban, saying that they now may travel to the United States with a valid visa.
Visa holders from the seven countries hurried to board U.S.-bound flights Saturday, fearing they might have only a slim window through which to enter the country after the ban was blocked by Robart, U.S. media reported.
TWIST & TWEET
Throughout Saturday, Trump criticized Robart for his ruling.
"The opinion of this co-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Trump tweeted early Saturday.
In the evening, he posted: "The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!"
The newly-inaugurated president has been harshly criticized during the past week as his pushy ban triggered mass protests at major airports and cities in the United States and some other countries. Protesters scolded it as a "Muslim ban" that targets people because of their faith.
Thousands of protesters, mostly young people, took to the streets in Washington D.C. on Saturday.
"Donald, Donald can't you see, you are not welcomed in D.C.," they chanted. "Immigrants are welcomed here, no hate, no fear."
The outcry has been echoed by thousands of protesters from London and Paris.
Moreover, the ban has also been rejected by governments of traditional U.S. allies in the West, including Britain, Germany and France.
Since the inauguration, Trump has been named in 52 federal lawsuits in 17 U.S. states. Many of the cases were filed over his executive order on refugees and immigration, according to an NBC News report citing the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.