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Trump's third travel ban stayed by two US courts

A judge in Maryland ruled Trump’s order was “inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban”.

world Updated: Oct 18, 2017 19:34 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US President Donald Trump,travel ban,Derrick K Watson
People march as they participate in the '#NoMuslimBanEver' rally in downtown Los Angeles, California on October 15, 2017.(AFP)

The third iteration of US President Donald Trump’s travel ban has been halted by two judges before it was to go into effect, with one citing his past remarks on Muslims to rule the intent of the order was discriminatory.

Hawaii judge Derrick K Watson ordered the first injunction on Tuesday, staying its rollout countrywide and as the White House prepared to appeal against it, Maryland judge Theodore D Chuang slapped a halt on Wednesday, just hours before the travel ban was to go into effect.

Chuang, who was appointed by former president Barack Obama, ruled Trump’s order was “inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban”, according to The Washington Post.

The portion of the order restricting entry of nationals from Libya, Iran, Chad, Somalia, Yemen and Syria lacking “bona fide” connection to residents and entities in the United States stands stayed, but that on people from North Korea and Venezuela was allowed to go into effect.

The justice department had said it would challenge Watson’s ruling. The White House, in a separate statement, said: “Today’s dangerously flawed district court order undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States.

“These restrictions are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our nation. We are therefore confident that the judiciary will ultimately uphold the president’s lawful and necessary action and swiftly restore its vital protections for the safety of the American people.”

Trump’s first travel ban, issued within days of his taking office, had suspended the entry of people from seven Muslim majority nations — Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen — as well as all refugees.

After it was stayed by several courts, the administration returned a few weeks later with a narrower order that had dropped Iraq from that list, and exempted citizens already issued visas. It was further watered down by the Supreme Court that forced the government to exempt those with “bona fides” reasons to travel to the United States, and relatives of people of these nations already residing in America. Refugees were also allowed to bypass the restriction. That order was to be in force for six months.

The restrictions in the third version were to run indefinitely — the White House said they “may be lifted as they (the eight countries) work with the United States government to ensure the safety of Americans”.

First Published: Oct 18, 2017 19:34 IST