U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, a University of Michigan alum, granted a temporary halt to Trump’s executive order banning the travel and resettlement of citizens from several Muslim-majority countries to the United States 24 hours after the order was signed.
Donnelly, who graduated from the University in 1981 and went on to get a law degree from Ohio State University, was appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in October 2015.
She issued the emergency order from New York after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition, claiming the deportation of travelers at airports across the country was unconstitutional.
The order said travelers who had been detained at U.S. airports had “a strong argument that their legal rights had been violated,” according to the Associated Press. Although the emergency order affects a small portion of the travel ban, it prevents U.S. border agents from deporting anyone with a valid visa or refugee application from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen.
Friday’s executive order sparked a series of protests at airports around the country all day Saturday as people heard about the travelers detained at U.S. airports. When the news of Donnelly’s order reached the crowds of demonstrators Saturday night, cheers erupted.
However, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement clarifying that her order would not have much of an effect on the federal ban.
“President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place — prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety,” the DHS statement said.
According to the Associated Press, Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney, confirmed the stay will only help travelers who have already landed in the United States, and those who are able to get here in the future. That ability, though, is uncertain.
“Realistically, we don’t even know if people are going to be allowed onto the planes,” Gelernt said. “This order would protect people who they allow to come here and reach U.S. soil.”
Nonetheless, the ACLU is hopeful that Donnelly’s emergency order is a sign of things to come. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero wrote in an editorial on the ACLU website that he and the organization will keep fighting for the rights of immigrants and refugees to come to America.
“This is only the beginning,” Romero wrote. “This is merely the first skirmish in a long battle to vigorously defend the Bill of Rights from the authoritarian designs of the Trump administration. Savor this victory tonight, but prepare to fight on.”
The ACLU is not alone in its protest of this ban. University President Mark Schlissel issued a statement yesterday confirming the University’s commitment to its international students and refusal to release their immigration information.
“Fostering an environment that promotes education and research at the highest levels is among my most important responsibilities as the University of Michigan’s president,” Schlissel wrote in the statement. “The leadership of the university is committed to protecting the rights and opportunities currently available to all members of our academic community, and to do whatever is possible within the law to continue to identify, recruit, support and retain academic talent, at all levels, from around the world.”