More than 100,000 visas have been revoked since President Trump’s executive order on immigration and travel was signed on Jan. 27, government lawyers revealed Friday in a Virginia courtroom.
The number came in an answer to a question from the judge about how many people have been affected by the order, CNN reported.
Erez Reuveni, from the Office of Immigration Litigation at the Civil Division of the Justice Department, also said no returning legal permanent residents — those with green cards — had been turned away.
The judge extended a temporary restraining order against removing lawful permanent residents until next Friday.
Meanwhile, a group of House lawmakers who are military veterans are pleading with Trump to grant exceptions to his refugee and immigration ban for people who risked their lives to aid US forces in the terror fight.
The lawmakers — 15 Republicans and one Democrat — also sought special consideration for children from war-torn regions in need of life-saving surgery, according to a letter sent to the president earlier this week and released Friday.
Trump’s executive order temporarily barred entry of refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — for three months, and Syrians indefinitely.
The lawmakers argued the order is too broad and shuts out Iraqi interpreters who served along with US troops in combat, individuals who have provided information, and political and business leaders removed from their positions.
They said America’s enemies see these “risk takers” as enemies, but that they should be counted as friends.
“For such individuals, time is not an ally,” the group wrote. “There is no place to which they may return for a normal life even after stability and reconstruction in their devastated lands.”
The lawmakers include conservative members of Congress from Oklahoma, Louisiana and Utah. They said they are motivated after walking “among these valiant and courageous souls who have helped the US armed forces” and are concerned about suffering children.
The letter illustrates lingering frustration on Capitol Hill over Trump’s order, which he issued last week without consulting Republican leaders. The House lawmakers steer clear of picking a fight with the president — they don’t dispute the “improvements” to the US immigration system the new policy is aiming to make.
But they make clear the net has been cast too wide and could have a chilling effect in future conflicts as people may shy away from aiding American troops in combat zones.
“We must make it clear that Americans can be trusted to stand with those who have stood with us,” the lawmakers wrote.
Among the lawmakers signing the letter are Reps. Steve Russell (R-Okla.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Ralph Abraham (R-La.).