Trump's travel restriction stopped on the grounds of ' discrimination '

Oct 19, 2017, 00:22
Trump's travel restriction stopped on the grounds of ' discrimination '

A Maryland judge has issued a ruling blocking part of the third version of President Donald Trump's travel ban, the second block to this latest draft.

The decision from Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii is sure to be appealed, but for now, it means that the administration can not restrict the entry of travelers from six of the eight countries that officials said were either unable or unwilling to provide information that the United States wanted to vet their citizens.

The administration's third travel ban, issued September 24, came just as the second, revised version of the travel ban reached its expiration date and the 50-day deadline for worldwide compliance with the US's new security requirements passed.

For Iran, exchange students may be permitted entry to the United States, albeit subject to enhanced screening and vetting. Certain government officials from Venezuela were also barred. And Iraqi citizens are to be singled out for additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks, according to a recommendation from the US Secretary of Homeland Security.

Judge Watson's order marks the latest blow to Trump's long-running efforts to indefinitely restrict entry of travellers from targeted countries into the US. Even before Chuang's ruling, though, a federal judge in Hawaii stopped it - at least temporarily - for all of the countries except North Korea and Venezuela.

"It lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be 'detrimental to the interests of the United States, '" and it "plainly discriminates based on nationality".

The state has been fighting each version of the travel ban.

Tuesday's ruling which the White House said it would defend through the Department of Justice does not affect travelers from North Korea or certain Venezuelan government officials and their families because the plaintiffs did not challenge those aspects of the executive order. Trump's third attempt to implement the travel ban has, for now, met the same fate as the previous two - blocked by litigation in the federal courts.

Lawyers for advocacy groups including the International Refugee Assistance Project, Iranian Alliances Across Borders and the Council on American-Islamic Relations urged Chuang to block implementation of what critics call Trump's "Muslim ban".

After his second ban was blocked, Chuang wrote, Trump described the measure as a "watered down version" of his initial measure, adding, "we ought go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place". "That is strong evidence that this is not some kind of Muslim ban in disguise". Mooppan declined to discuss details of the classified report, and said the government does not have to explain whether Trump's advisers disagreed about the ban.

Chuang said he would rule later on whether to grant the challengers' request for an injunction.

"The "initial" announcement of the Muslim ban, offered repeatedly and explicitly through President Trump's own statements, forcefully and persuasively expressed his objective in unequivocal terms", Chuang wrote.

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