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New York Federal Judge Orders Nationwide Halt of Refugee Deportations

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People protest against the Muslim immigration ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. President Trump signed an executive order that halted refugees and residents from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge in New York Saturday blocked deportations nationwide of refugees detained on entry to the country after an executive order from President Trump targeted citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn granted a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to halt the deportations after determining that the risk of injury to those detained by being returned to their home countries necessitated the decision.

Only minutes after Donnelly’s ruling, another was delivered in Alexandria when U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a temporary restraining order to block for seven days the removal of any green-card holders being detained at Dulles International Airport. The second order also declared that lawyers have access to those held there because of the ban.

Several hours after the two rulings were handed down, the Department of Homeland Security said it would continue to implement the president’s executive order. In a statement released Sunday, the agency said “less than one percent” on international air travelers arriving Saturday in the U.S. were “inconvenienced” by the executive order.

Confusion and concern among immigrant advocates mounted throughout the day as travelers from the Middle East were detained at U.S. airports or sent home. A lawsuit filed on behalf of two Iraqi men challenged Trump’s executive action, which was signed Friday and initially cast as applying to refugees and migrants.

However, as the day progressed, administration officials confirmed the action also targeted U.S. legal residents from the named countries — green-card holders — who were abroad when it was signed. Also subject to being barred entry into the United States are dual nationals, or people born in one of the seven countries who hold passports even from U.S. allies, such as the United Kingdom.

The virtually unprecedented executive order triggered harsh reactions from not only Democrats, but also key members from the U.S. business community. Several of the nation’s leading technology companies recalled scores of overseas employees and harshly criticized President Trump. Various legal experts have hailed the order is unconstitutional, lawyers and advocates are advising them to seek asylum in Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted this message Saturday afternoon:

Yet Trump, who centered his campaign in part on his vow to crack down on illegal immigrants and impose what became known as his “Muslim ban,’’ was unbowed. As White House officials insisted that the measure strengthens national security, the president stood squarely behind it.

“It’s not a Muslim ban, but we were totally prepared,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “You see it at the airports, you see it all over. It’s working out very nicely, and we’re going to have a very, very strict ban, and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years.”

Trump’s Democratic challenger in November Hillary Clinton tweeted late Saturday, “I stand with the people gathered across the country tonight defending our values & our Constitution. This is not who we are.”

Information from the Washington Post contributed to this report. 

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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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