Washington- Following the popular protests and the largescale campaigns that emerged in the U.S. after the decision of President Donald Trump to temporarily ban entry to the U.S. for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, an opposition comparable to a revolt kicked off in state institutions.
On Monday, Trump fired acting U.S. attorney general Sally Yates. His decision, which came after Yates challenged Trump by telling justice department lawyers not to defend his executive order banning entry for people from seven Muslim-majority countries, fueled much dispute in the country.
Yates, an appointee of former Democratic President Barack Obama, said she did not believe it would be “consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”
Hours after her decision, Yates was fired. The White House said Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States” and portrayed her actions as political.
The U.S. president replaced Yates with Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Virginia, until the Senate confirms the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as the new attorney general.
Trump also took a decision on Monday night to relieve acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Daniel Ragsdale of his temporary duties and replaced him with Thomas Homan. Ragsdale will go back to his previous job as deputy director.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement: “I am confident that he will continue to serve as a strong, effective leader for the men and women of ICE.”
Meanwhile, anticipation and chaos extended to the U.S. State Department, where several high-ranking officials had announced their resignations amid fears that Trump’s decisions would affect the country’s foreign policy, particularly after the President circulated an internal note warning any federal employee from not executing orders related to the travel ban.
In another step, Massachusetts chose to follow the lead of Washington State to block Trump’s order on the travel ban.
Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, said her office was joining the lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday challenging the ban and also filing its own lawsuit seeking to have the ban struck down.
“What he did was unconstitutional and harmful to MA,” Healey said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres fiercely criticized Trump’s decisions and urged the U.S. to lift its ban on travelers “as soon as possible.”
Guterres said Tuesday that countries have the right to avoid infiltration of terrorist organizations, but could not take measures based on discrimination related to religion, ethnicity, or nationality.
He warned that “blind measures, not based on solid intelligence, tend to be ineffective as they risk being bypassed by what are today sophisticated global terrorist movements.”
The U.N. chief added that discrimination is against “fundamental principles and values” and “triggers widespread anxiety and anger” that may spur extremist propaganda and violence.