CONFUSION reigns in the US after a judge countermanded President Trump's deportation orders, and the status of green card holders - legal US residents - remains unresolved.

President Trump has defended his temporary ban on travellers from seven predominantly Muslim nations entering the US - a controversial decision that impacts Australian dual passport holders.

Pre-approved refugees, students and workers holding visas and residency green cards were barred from flights to the US, detained at airports and pulled off flights on Saturday amid global backlash.

"It's not a Muslim ban, but we were totally prepared. It's working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over," the US president said, according to a White House press pool report.

He later tweeted: "Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world - a horrible mess!"

It comes as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she had "two very constructive conversations" with Vice President Mike Pence about the migration ban.

He also suspended the US refugee program for 120 days and ordered his administration to develop "extreme vetting" measures for migrants from the seven countries.

On Saturday, a US judge issued a temporary halt to the deportation of visa holders or refugees stranded at US airports.

The emergency decision blocks part of Trump's controversial executive order, but some border officials have chosen to ignore the ruling and continue deportations regardless.

As protesters rallied around the country for a second day, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus defended the travel suspension. He said only two dozen travellers remain detained.

"It wasn't chaos," Priebus said on Meet the Press in the US. "Most of those people were moved out. We've got a couple dozen more that remain and I would suspect that as long as they're not awful people that they will move through before another half a day today."

He also said that green card holders won't be affected "moving forward".

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says six people barred from entering the US because of President Donald Trump's travel ban remained in detention at Kennedy Airport.

Immigration lawyers worked through the day to try and gain the release of several people being held at the airport, with some success.

ACLU attorney Andre Segura said at least seven detainees were released yesterday, with more people expected to be freed in the afternoon. Some people who were initially told they would be deported were allowed to enter the US.

Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have lashed out at Trump's executive order on immigration, saying it "will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism."

"Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred," the senators said in a joint statement.

"This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security."




Trump administration officials are considering plans to ask foreign visitors to disclose all the websites and social media sites they visit, and to share contacts in their mobile phones, a source told CNN.

Foreign visitors who refuse could be denied entry under proposals currently being discussed, the source said.
The report comes as Mana Yegani, a lawyer for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (Alia), claimed that Homeland Security officials have been scanning people's Facebook pages to determine their political views before allowing them into America, The Independent reports.

An Alia spokesman said they'd received anecdotal reports of social media accounts being targeted by officials.


British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has slammed Trump's temporary immigration ban as "divisive and wrong" and criticised the decision to "stigmatise" people based on their nationality.

He has called on Trump's administration to exempt Brits with dual citizenship, with The Evening Standard reporting he is in talks with Trump advisers Jared Kushner and Stephen Bannon.

The Independent reports Labour will move to summon Johnson to parliament to answer questions on the Government's response to the temporary ban. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for Trump's state visit to Britain this year to be cancelled.

It comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May copped backlash after choosing not to criticise Trump when repeatedly questioned about the travel man during a visit to Turkey.

A spokesperson later said May did not "agree" with the executive order and would help UK citizens.

A photo posted by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, has been slammed for posting a glamorous "date night" photo of herself and husband Jared Kushner amid protests against her father's migration ban.

Social media users lashed out at the poorly-timed post, branding the photo "wildly offensive", "inappropriate" and "tone deaf".

The picture, posted on Saturday night, spawned a number of memes juxtaposing her silver metallic dress with an image of a refugee in a foil survival bag.

It also sparked "Let them eat cake" memes, the line believed to have been uttered by Marie-Antoinette around 1789 when told her French subjects had no bread.


The Iraqi parliament's foreign affairs committee called for a reciprocal travel ban on Americans, with Facebook message from the US embassy in Iraq generating plenty of vitriol.

"Daeshi decision," Baghdad resident Nibal Athed wrote, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

He demanded to know why the list excluded Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which he described as the "biggest sponsors of terrorism".

It comes as an Iraqi paramilitary umbrella group fighting against jihadists called for Baghdad to bar Americans from the country.

Both units from the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary organisation and American troops are deployed in the Mosul area as part of the operation to retake the city from Islamic State, and heightened anti-US sentiment among militiamen could increase the danger to Washington's forces.

"After the decision of the American president to prohibit the entry of Iraqi citizens to the United States of America, we demand Americans be prevented from entering Iraq, and the removal of those of them who are present," the Hashed said in a statement.

Tehran responded to the suspension with a ban on Americans entering the country. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that Trump's move "will be recorded in history as a great gift to extremists and their supporters."

Meanwhile, Yemen's Huthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa, released a statement, saying: "All attempts to classify Yemen and its citizens as a probable source for terrorism and extremism is illegal and illegitimate."

Yemenis made up the largest contingent - 12,998 - of immigrants to the US last year from the seven countries, many fleeing the US-backed bombing campaign by Saudi Arabia.


Families split, a father unable to reach his son's wedding and officials warning of a "gift to extremists" - Trump's visa ban on seven Muslim countries has triggered shock and confusion.

"There is mass hysteria among the Iranian-American community - that's no exaggeration," said Saam Borhani, a lawyer in Los Angeles, adding that said clients were bombarding him with questions.

Borhani, himself an Iranian-American, said he had heard from married couples stuck in separate countries and a father blocked from attending his son's wedding in California.

Among thousands facing difficulties, an Iraqi family was barred in Cairo from taking their connecting flight to New York on Saturday.

"I had sold my house, my car, my furniture. I resigned from work and so did my wife. I took my children out of school," Fuad Sharef, 51, told AFP.

"Donald Trump destroyed my life. My family's life. I used to think America was a state of institutions but it's as though it's a dictatorship."

An Iranian woman blocked from boarding at Tehran airport on Sunday said she had waited 14 years for her green card.

"Even during the hostage crisis at the US embassy (in 1980), the US government didn't issue such an order. They say the US is the cradle of liberty. I don't see freedom in that country," she said, asking not to be named.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Trump that the global fight against terrorism was no excuse for banning refugees or people from Muslim-majority countries from entering America.

"She is convinced that even the necessary, decisive battle against terrorism does not justify putting people of a specific background or faith under general suspicion," spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

He said the German government regrets the entry travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, and will review the consequences for German citizens with dual nationalities.

He said Merkel had expressed her concerns to Trump during a telephone call on Saturday and reminded him that the Geneva Conventions require the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds.

He said the German government would now review the consequences of the ban for German citizens with dual nationalities and would "represent their interests, if needed, vis a vis our US partners."


Federal customs agents at US airports are reportedly ignoring a Brooklyn federal judge's demand that travellers from seven Muslim countries not be deported from the nation's airports.

Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union on Saturday won an emergency stay of Trump's deportation order, after a dozen travellers were detained at New York's JFK airport, including two Iraqi men on Sunday.

"The court's order could not be clearer … they need to comply with the order," Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants Rights project, told The New York Post. "It's enough to be a serious concern."

Large protests broke out at JFK and other airports across America, including Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren joined protesters at Logan International Airport in Boston on Saturday night to denounce Trump's immigration order.

"We will not turn away families," she told the crowd. "We will not turn away people who try to help Americans. We will not turn away anyone because of their religion."

News Corp Australia

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