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As Congress moves forward with immigration reform, we take a look at how this issue connects to culture, business and families in the Northwest.Our region is home to a unique blend of immigrants who work in all parts of our economy — from high-tech to agriculture. This population already has a deeply-rooted history here. And its ranks are expanding rapidly.Proposals for comprehensive immigration reform address border security, employment verification, guest-worker programs and pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the US.

Federal judge in Seattle stops Trump's travel ban on immigrants

A federal court judge in Seattle has ordered a temporary halt to President Donald Trump’s immigration ban — nationwide.

The restraining order is part of the lawsuit filed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. U.S. District Judge James Robart issued the ruling Friday afternoon.

The lawsuit says Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional because it discriminates based on religion. The ban blocks Syrian refugees from entering the country and temporarily suspends visa applications from certain Middle Eastern or African countries.

In its lawsuit, the state says the administration’s policy is hurting families and has prevented family members from being reunited. The complaint says the policy will cost the state significant losses in tax revenues.

Since the complaint was filed, Minnesota has joined Washington's lawsuit. Other states — New York, Massachusetts and Virginia — have also taken legal action.

The White House says the executive order is needed for national security. 

The latest census figures show more than 20,000 Washington residents are from the banned countries.  

Year started with KUOW: 1994