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Sea-Tac Airport calm following hold on immigration ban

Sea-Tac Airport was reporting normal Saturday passenger traffic after a judge’s ruling that allows banned travelers back into the U.S.

“Everything is very calm,” Port of Seattle spokeswoman Susan Stoltzfus said Saturday morning. The same was true later in the evening, Stoltzfus said. “We’d love to keep it that way.”

Now, she said, they’re waiting to see what happens with the Justice Department’s appeal of the judge’s ruling against the travel ban.

Immigration attorney Greg McLawsen said he and other attorneys have been hearing the same. But the real test could come Sunday, McLawsen said.

“I think it’s a little too early to give meaningful input because most folks impacted by the ban wouldn’t phycailly be able to get here by now,” he said, adding that the judge’s ruling only came down Friday. “So we’re really anticipating the test cases are really going to start showing up tomorrow. We have hundreds of people who had to cancel their travel plans and then make the decision: Do they drop everything and hop on the first flight they can?”

The hold was placed Friday on President Donald Trump’s executive order that denied entry into the U.S. to refugees and to people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Seattle-based U.S. District Judge James Robart’s ruling prompted the State Department to reverse visa cancellations for affected foreigners.

Stoltzfus said the airport hasn’t had any detainees for over a week. There were no long lines at Customs and Border Protection, and the airport was free of protesters, she said.

“It’s really quite quiet,” Stoltzfus said. “We expect it to be business as usual.”

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor

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