Foreign students in Virginia can return as Judge issues restraining order against ban


WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (APP): Residents of the commonwealth of Virginia as well as students and employees of public universities in the state can return after a preliminary injunctions issued by a federal judge to halt enforcement of President Trump’s travel ban, according to reports.
The ruling is yet another setback to President Trump’s executive order of banning travelers from seven Muslim countries that has already been challenged in court by various states. The latest ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema applies only to residents of Virginia. Many Asian students from Pakistan and India are studying in universities in Virginia.
The ban is already on hold temporarily nationwide as a result of an earlier court ruling. Brinkema wrote in her ruling that that the commonwealth “has produced unrebutted evidence” that the order “was not motivated by rational national security concerns” but “religious prejudice” toward Muslims, a media report said.
Many states have vowed to resist the executive order and do not cooperate with federal agents or deportation authorities who are conducting raids against undocumented or illegal immigrants.
In a latest move, three minority-based legislative caucuses of the state of Maryland that borders the capital Washington have begun a joint effort to push for a new law, whose passage would limit state’s cooperation with the deportation authorities. The state is home a large number of immigrants including that from Pakistan and India.
Members of the Latino, black and Asian American Pacific Islander caucuses assembled this week to support the Trust Act, which is in line with the so-called “sanctuary” policies adopted by many cities an states that aim to protect illegal immigrants and provide them shelter to avoid being arrested by federal immigration officials.
“If ever there was a time to stand for something, to stand firmly and believe in it and fight for it and leave it all out there, this is the policy,” a report said quoting state delegate Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk from the Democratic party whose presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost to Mr. Trump in the November presidential elections.
“The legislation would bar police and sheriff’s departments from complying with federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants longer than required under local guidelines; prohibit local authorities from arresting individuals for immigration purposes; and try to restrict federal agencies from removing people from schools, hospitals or courthouses,” the report added.
The proposed bill will also prevent the state from “participating in any form of religion-based registry,” as has been proposed by President Trump aimed at keeping track of Muslims.
State Senators and delegates in Maryland have enough number to pass the proposed state legislation.