According to a government attorney speaking in federal court on Friday, over 100,000 visas were revoked following the sudden implementation of President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban. Washington Post reporter Justin Jouvenal, who was covering a trial pertaining to two Yemeni brothers’ lawsuit (among many others) following their detention at and deportation from Dulles International Airport on Saturday, broke the news on Twitter. The new number calls into question Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s declaration on Sunday that, despite all the backlash, Trump’s executive order only detrimentally affected 109 people.
Erez Reuveni from the Justice Department’s Office of Immigration Litigation revealed the new tally in court Friday morning. Tareq and Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz’s representative, Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, told the Washington Post it “sucked the air out of my lungs.” What’s more, the number and the travel ban that caused it moved Judge Leonie M. Brinkema to berate Reuveni, the Justice Department and the White House for the “chaos” that resulted — even though the government lawyer admitted all green card holders were eventually allowed into the country:
“It’s quite clear that not all the thought went into it that should have gone into it,” Brinkema said. “There has been chaos… without any kind of actual hard evidence that there is a need” to revoke visas already granted. People had relied on their visas as valid, she said; families had expected to be reunited with loved ones.