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State Dept. reinstates 60,000 visas revoked since President's immigration order

Pres. Trump vows to overrule 'so-called judge'
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Posted at 8:14 AM, Feb 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-04 11:20:44-05

A week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily limiting travel and immigration to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, tens of thousands of visas revoked since then will be reinstated, the Department of State announced Saturday.

Since Pres. Trump's immigration order, the department said 60,000 visas had been revoked as a result, State Department officials told ABC News

The visas cannot not be used for travel during a 90-day review period established by the order, but that could change following the review. 

The State Department's reversal comes a day after a federal judge in Washington placed a hold on the President's executive action. 

Related: Seattle judge freezes Pres. Trump's immigration ban

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials also announced Saturday that they will not direct airlines to keep visa-holders covered by the order from boarding U.S.-bound planes, according to the Associated Press.

Friday, a DHS statement said the order, "does not apply to Lawful Permanent Residents, dual citizens with passports from a country other than the seven listed, or those traveling on diplomatic, NATO or UN visas. Special Immigrant Visa holders who are nationals of these seven countries may board U.S.-bound planes, and apply for and receive a national interest exception to the pause upon arrival."

The Department of Justice, however, intends to file an emergency stay to defend the order, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement.

Related: Protests erupt nationwide over immigration ban

"At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate," Spicer said in a statement. "The President's order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people."

The moves by the State Department and DHS are additional stings to the order, on the heels of U.S. District Judge James Robart's ruling to temporarily stopped the order.

Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, said in a ruling that states, "have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. "

Pres. Trump took to Twitter Saturday to blast the Washington judge's decision.

"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Pres. Trump tweeted.

The president continued to assert his the necessity and effectiveness of the executive order on Twitter, following the judge's decision.

On Jan. 27, Pres. Trump's order placed a temporary ban on travel from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Following the signing, protests erupted at airports across the nation as travelers who fell under the ban were detained or refused admittance into the country.

Multiple judges across the country have ruled locally on the ban, but Friday's ruling from Judge Robart was the first to issue the ruling nationwide.

Wednesday, the president's administration announced they would ease some restrictions of the ban on green-card holders deemed "low-risk."