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No swift legal moves by feds as Trump reaffirms support for immigration restrictions

Published: Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 10:18 AM

Four days after a federal appeals panel refused to reinstate President Donald Trump's order on immigration and travel restrictions, the White House and Justice Department are not making any swift moves in court to appeal that ruling, even as the President said again on Monday that his efforts have strong support among voters.

In papers filed today with Judge James Robart, a federal judge in Washington State who last week put the Trump immigration order on hold, the Justice Department made clear it was in no rush to litigate the underlying constitutional questions involved, opting to wait and see what the Ninth Circuit does next.

"Accordingly, at this time, defendants believe the appropriate course is to postpone any further proceedings in the district court," the Justice Department wrote, as the Trump Administration waits to see if the full Ninth Circuit is going to hold a hearing on the matter, to review the decision of a three judge panel last week.

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Just as those papers were being filed, the President used a White House news conference to again reinforce his support for tougher measures at the border to vet refugees from Syria and other nations.

"We are getting such praise for our stance," Mr. Trump said. "It's a stance of common sense; maybe a certain toughness, but it's really more than toughness, it's a stance of common sense."

The President made no mention of action to appeal last week's Ninth Circuit ruling, and he gave no hints about any new or revised Executive Order that might be issued on the matter.

Last Friday, Mr. Trump had told reporters to expect something to be issued at some point this week.

The delay could also be looked at another way, running the clock in the hopes that President Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court might be put on the bench at some point in coming months, ending the chances of a 4-4 split that would doom any appeal by the President.

At the same joint news conference with the Canadian Prime Minister, President Trump also spoke favorably of recent immigration raids, which officials said on Monday netted almost 700 arrests of people illegally in the U.S.

"We're getting them out, and that's what I said I would do," Mr. Trump said.

"I'm just doing what I said I would do, when we won by a very, very large electoral college vote."

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