- Associated Press - Thursday, February 2, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge on Thursday extended an emergency order barring the U.S. from turning away immigrants arriving in the country with valid visas, giving lawyers more time to file papers in the legal battle over President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

U.S. District Judge Carol Amon ordered the 10-day extension, to Feb. 21, after Justice Department lawyer Samuel Go told her the government plans to ask her to throw out a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other immigrant advocates.

The plaintiff lawyers said they would seek class-action status for a suit challenging a policy they argue already has violated the rights of an unknown number of legal immigrants. Another judge in Brooklyn federal court had issued the emergency stay on Saturday.

On Thursday, the immigrants’ lawyer complained that the government had failed to produce a list of those detained under the Trump executive order closing the country’s borders to Syrian refugees indefinitely and temporarily for all refuges as well as nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt claimed there are up to three cases in New York and possibly more across the country in which immigrants were detained and removed from the U.S. after the emergency stay was in place.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joined the fray on Thursday with a court filing seeking to join the ACLU suit. It argues the policy unfairly targets followers of Islam, violates federal laws and harms New York’s schools, businesses, hospitals and economy.

Schneiderman, a Democrat, has sued the Republican president before over his Trump University real estate seminars.

Trump, a Republican, has said his order is necessary to curb terror attacks by Muslim extremists who gain entry to the U.S. via immigration. Immigration advocates say those affected already have been vetted, arguing the travel restrictions disrupt families and breed anti-American resentment.

Hundreds of students, medical professionals and workers in the finance, technology and other industries are affected by the travel restrictions, according to Schneiderman’s filing.

Last year, the state resettled 803 Syrian refugees.

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