MALACAÑANG yesterday declined to comment on Trump’s immigration crackdown except to say it respected US policies.
Reports said that the crackdown has been marked by a temporary ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
“We respect the policy of the United States of America,” Presidential communications assistant secretary Ana Maria Banaag said.
“If they have prohibitions or they would be banning people from entering their country that is their right. They have regulations on who are qualified to go to their country,” Banaag said over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
Asked how the government would assist local travelers who may be barred from entering the US, Banaag said, “What we can do would be to let the DFA negotiate on that matter. However, we would respect kung ano man ang regulasyon ng embahada o ng US.”
Trump banned non-American citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days.
Citing the White House, a report by Reuters said even US green card holders would require additional screening before being allowed to return to the United States.
This developed as a federal judge in New York has issued an emergency stay temporarily halting the removal of individuals detained after President Trump issued an order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
The move appears to mark the first successful legal challenge to the Trump administration and affects those who have arrived in the U.S. with previously approved refugee applications or were in transit with valid visas.
U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly ruled in favor of a habeas corpus petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of two Iraqi men who were detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday after Trump signed his order.
Donnelly, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama and confirmed to her judgeship in 2015, ruled in the Eastern District of New York that "there is imminent danger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals from nations subject" to Trump's order.