Immigration Law

Maryland federal judge blocks part of Trump's revised travel ban

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Immigration wall.

A federal judge in Maryland is the second to issue an injunction preventing enforcement of President Trump’s revised travel ban.

U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang on Thursday enjoined a revised provision that temporarily barred entry into the United States by immigrants from six majority-Muslim countries, report USA Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Chuang’s order (PDF) follows a decision on Wednesday by a Honolulu federal judge who granted the state of Hawaii’s request for a restraining order blocking the revised travel ban.

Like the Hawaii judge, Chuang cited Trump’s negative statements about Muslim immigrants during the campaign. The likely purpose of Trump’s order, Chuang said, was “the effectuation of the proposed Muslim ban.”

The Maryland suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and partner organizations, according to a press release.

Trump’s revised order had reinstated a 90-day ban on entry into the United States by immigrants from six majority-Muslim countries. A seventh country, Iraq, was removed from the banned list. Also, the revised order no longer prohibited entry by lawful permanent residents and current visa holders. Case-by-case waivers would also be allowed.

The revised order also removed a preference for religious minorities in their home countries, which would have benefited Christians in Muslim-majority countries, and removed a complete ban on Syrian refugees.

The changes weren’t enough to satisfy Chuang. He found likely violations of provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that bar discrimination based on nationality. He also found likely violation of the establishment clause because of anti-Muslim statements by Trump and his advisers before the election.

“In this highly unique case,” Chuang wrote, “the record provides strong indications that the national security purpose is not the primary purpose for the travel ban.”

U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled on Thursday that his nationwide injunction did not apply to Trump’s revised travel ban, report the Associated Press and the Seattle Times. Robart is considering a challenge to Trump’s new executive order but did not rule on Thursday.

Updated March 17 to include information about Robart’s ruling.

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