New England travel ban temporarily halted by judge
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation says it will temporarily halt all travel between Boston and Albany, New York, in an effort to allow people who have been impacted by the state’s new travel restrictions to return home.
The decision was announced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge James Robart, who said it was the right move.
“The governor and state officials have made a decision that is consistent with their duty to protect the lives and safety of our citizens and visitors, and they have taken appropriate steps to ensure that the Commonwealth is able to conduct its operations,” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said in a statement.
“The governor has directed the state to allow those with valid visas to depart.”
The governor said he will issue a temporary stay of the order and to allow for the return of all affected travelers to the United States.
He said it is “critical that the public and local governments can return to their normal routines.”
“The Commonwealth will be able to work with our state and local partners to address the needs of those impacted by this temporary suspension,” Patrick said.
He added that he would not impose a state of emergency.
The ban was signed into law by Gov.
Charlie Baker, a Republican, on Feb. 1.
The law bars travelers from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the United State.
The state’s travel ban applies to travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The Boston Globe reported that some travelers had been denied entry to the U.K. because of the travel ban.
“We have been notified that a British national has been denied a passport because of his status in the UK, the report states.
The report says the woman was born in Iraq and has lived in the U!
Kingdom for the past 15 years.
Her name was not disclosed.”
Travelers have also been denied boarding in the European Union and Canada, The Boston Globe said.
The news outlet reported that a European Union official told the Globe that the UK had stopped issuing passports to people from the seven countries.
The ban has been called a “national security issue” by the U and the United Nations, but it is widely criticized by Americans and others as a discriminatory measure.