Federal Judges Block Trump's Revised Travel Ban

Early Thursday, a federal judge in Maryland temporarily blocked parts of President Trump's revised travel order, according to The Washington Post. The narrow order suspends only the portion that stopped the issuance of visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries. 

Hours earlier, another federal judge in Hawaii placed a nationwide block on President Trump's new order, delivering a major blow to the administration's policy just hours before it was set to go into effect, Inside Higher Ed reported.

The state of Hawaii, in challenging the second ban, specifically cited the impact it would have on the University of Hawaii. U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson based part of his decision—on the crucial issue of the state's standing—on the arguments involving the university.

The temporary restraining order, which will be in place while the judge considers the case, blocks the sections of the travel ban that would have temporarily suspended the refugee resettlement program and barred nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. The policy was set to go into effect just after midnight.

Late last week, a U.S. federal court refused to apply the emergency stay that blocked President Trump's first travel ban to his revised executive order, The Hill reported.

In early February, U.S. District Judge James Robart issued an order blocking the first version of the ban, which barred the entry of individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries and limited the nation's refugee program. Robart's ruling was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, leading the Trump administration to issue the new order last week.

The latest order includes a number of changes meant to help it withstand the legal challenges that blocked implementation of the original travel ban. The new guidelines outline a more specific national security basis for the order, blocking the issuance of only new visas. The updated order does not apply to lawful permanent residents of the U.S. or to individuals with valid visas, including student and exchange visas.

The revised order includes a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Iraqi citizens, covered by the initial ban, will be allowed to travel to the United States under the new order. Additionally, it suspends the the nation's refugee program for 120 days and decreases the number refugees accepted in a year to 50,000, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.

Immigration and higher education advocates expressed continued concerns about the new, revised ban and its potential negative effects, though.

Last Thursday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) filed a motion to have the block on the original order carry over to the new version, The Hill reported. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) joined Washington in challenging the new ban.

"President Trump's latest executive order is a Muslim ban by another name, imposing policies and protocols that once again violate the Equal Protection Clause and Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution," Schneiderman said in a statement.

In a statement Thursday, Healey called the ban "discriminatory and unconstitutional."

Judge Robart ruled Friday against the Democratic attorneys general's request, stating that lawyers from the states needed to file more extensive court papers.


Related Links

The Washington Post


Inside Higher Ed


The Hill