(ESPAÑOL) At least 100,000 visas have been revoked in a single week in response to President Trump’s executive immigration order, a lawyer for the Justice Department revealed in court Friday.
The number came to light in a Virginia courtroom as a federal judge granted the state’s motion to join a lawsuit challenging the immigration ban that caused chaos at airports over the weekend.
Attorney Erez Reuveni, from the DOJ’s Office of Immigration Litigation, announced the staggering number after Judge Leonie Brinkema pressed for the number of people who were detained and sent back from airports.
The State Department quickly disputed the Justice Department’s numbers, issuing a statement claiming the amount of revoked visas was far lower.
“Fewer than 60,000 individuals’ visas were provisionally revoked to comply with the Executive Order,” said William Cocks of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs in an email to NBC News. “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.”
In light of the President’s order — which banned Syrian refugees indefinitely, all other refugees for 120 days, and residents of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days — multiple court orders have been issued that rolled back some of the ban’s heavier restrictions.
In New York and Massachusetts, federal judges ordered CBP officers not to detain or deport travelers who had previously been authorized to enter the United States.
And on Friday a federal judge in Detroit issued a ruling on behalf of the Arab-American Civil Rights League re-affirming that the Trump travel ban does not apply to lawful permanent residents of the United States, including those with green cards. Earlier in the week, the White House clarified that low-risk green card holders were exempt from the ban.