A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked the latest version of the Trump administration’s travel ban just hours before it was to be implemented.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson authored the ruling on Tuesday, arguing the updated ban is a continuation of Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States.”
He granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the federal government from enforcing the policy, which would have come into effect at midnight on Wednesday.
“EO-3 suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor,” the ruling read.
“It lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nations from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’ a precondition that the 9th Circuit determined must be satisfied.”
“EO-3 plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to…the founding principles of this nation.”
The open-ended ban was announced last month, targeted people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea.
It was the latest version of a policy that had previously targeted six Muslim-majority countries but had been restricted by the Supreme Court.
The White House responded to the ruling with a statement on Tuesday afternoon, claiming that the “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.”
“The entry restrictions in the proclamation apply to countries based on their inability or unwillingness to share critical information necessary to safely vet applications, as well as a threat assessment related to terrorism, instability and other grave national concerns,” the statement read.
“These restrictions are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and security of our nation.”
The White House has indicated that the Department of Justice will defend the action.
However, Hawaii’s attorney general Doug Chin issued a statement which said “this is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion.”
“Today is another victory for the rule of law.”
“We stand ready to defend it.”