Immigration Law

Hawaii federal judge issues nationwide injunction blocking Trump's third travel ban

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Derrick Watson

Judge Derrick Watson. Photo from U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii via Wikimedia Commons.

A federal judge in Hawaii on Tuesday mostly blocked the third version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which was set to take effect Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said the third travel ban “plainly discriminates based on nationality” and issued a nationwide order blocking the restrictions on travel from six majority-Muslim countries, report BuzzFeed News, the Washington Post and Politico. The six nations are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad.

Watson’s order (PDF) did not block travel restrictions on the two other nations on the latest list, North Korea and Venezuela. The travel ban for the South American country only applies to some government officials and their families.

Watson said the new travel ban “improperly uses nationality as a proxy for risk” to the United States, violating the ban on nationality-based discrimination in the granting of immigrant visas that is in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The generalized findings supporting the third travel ban were also insufficient under the INA, Watson said.

The third travel ban “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: 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,’” Watson said.

The travel restrictions had varied based on the country. Watson said those varying restrictions “make no effort to explain why some types of visitors from a particular country are banned, while others are not.”

Watson did not rule on constitutional claims that the third travel ban amounted to religious discrimination.

Other challenges to the third travel ban are also pending in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

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