Temporary Restraining Order to the Trump Administration’s Travel Ban

The courts have temporarily halted enforcement of the Trump administration’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from certain countries (read more about the executive order in our previous post). Only a week after the executive order was issued, a federal judge in Seattle imposed a temporary restraining order on Friday, February 3 in response to requests by attorneys general from Washington and Minnesota (read the text of the restraining order here).

What does the restraining order do?

The restraining order preserves the status quo before holding further hearings. In other words, while the restraining order is in effect, key sections of the executive order are temporarily canceled. This means that for the time being, citizens from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen who have valid travel documents will be allowed to enter the country. Refugees from all countries, including Syria, will also be permitted entry. It is uncertain how long the restraining order will remain in force, but it might only be a short period of time.

Why was the restraining order issued?

While 40 lawsuits have been filed against the ban, the suit brought by Washington and Minnesota has succeeded in securing a nationwide halt to the executive order. The states argued that the order would cause immediate and irreparable harm to their residents, especially “in areas of employment, education, business, family relations, and freedom to travel”. Moreover, the states themselves are harmed by the damage the order inflicts on their “public universities and other institutions of higher learning, as well as injury to the States’ operations, tax bases, and public funds”.

A number of major tech industry leaders, including Apple, Google, and Uber, filed briefs with the court arguing that the ban would damage their companies by making it more difficult to recruit employees.

What’s next?

The Trump administration filed an unsuccessful appeal to immediately lift the restraining order. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said it would consider the federal government’s motion for an emergency stay after more briefs are filed by Monday, February 6. It is likely that, whatever decision the appeals court arrives at concerning the emergency stay, the case will very quickly go on to the Supreme Court, which will make the final decision.

What should you do?

If you are a refugee or a citizen of one of the seven banned countries, we recommend that you get into the country as soon as possible and cancel any plans to travel abroad. There may only be a small window of opportunity to enter the country. The President of the United States has broad constitutional authority to determine who can come into the country, so it is possible that his travel ban may be upheld by the federal appeals court or by the Supreme Court.


We at Zhang and Associates are pleased to witness this display of robust separation of powers. It is the duty of the judicial branch to check the powers of the two other branches and to protect the rights and liberties of the people of the United States. Zhang and Associates is committed to participating in this process and ensuring that the government and executive institutions treat its clients justly in accordance with the law and the Constitution.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients nationwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled thousands of immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, PERM, and I-485 cases. In the past twenty years, we have successfully helped thousands of clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang (info@hooyou.com) for a free evaluation.

Zhang & Associates, P.C.

Silicon Valley • New York • Los Angeles • Chicago • Houston • Austin • Seattle • Madison

Tel: 1-800-230-7040, 713-771-8433
Email: info@hooyou.com
website: http://www.hooyou.com