White House slams decision to block travel ban

White House slams decision to block travel ban

Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked it in rulings Tuesday and Wednesday, just before it was due to take effect.

Like yesterday's ruling against the travel ban by a federal district court in Hawaii, Judge Chuang also ruled that Travel Ban 3.0 violated the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which forbids discrimination in the issuance of immigration visas on the basis of nationality. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland wrote that the administration had "not shown that national security can not be maintained without an unprecedented eight-country travel ban". Watson issued a nationwide order blocking enforcement of travel restrictions on nationals of six Muslim-majority nations covered by the president's September 24 directive: Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. The new regulations add administration findings of fact to justify making restrictions on countries like Iran and Yemen permanent and introducing bans on travel to the United States from North Korea and by certain individuals and entities tied to the Venezuelan Regime. The six remaining countries are mainly Muslim. A department spokesman, Ian Prior, said the ruling is "incorrect, fails to properly respect the separation of powers and has the potential to cause serious negative consequences for our national security".

Watson ruled in July that "close familial relationships" must be considered to extend to in-laws and distant cousins, largely negating the the Supreme Court's decision and keeping the flow of travelers from the named countries going while the case waited to be decided.

"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", the statement said.

The latest ban was announced last month as cases challenging the previous version awaited action at the Supreme Court. It prohibits the administration from enforcing the ban against people who can not prove they have a "bona fide" - or good faith - relationship with US persons or entities, such as businesses or universities.

The court explained that a person with "common sense" would see this ban as "the latest incarnation of the "Muslim ban" originally promised by President Trump as a candidate for the presidency". Yet, Chuang held that travel ban 3.0 failed to "cure" the "religious animus" behind the earlier travel ban.

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As to how the judges were disregarding the Supreme Court, French noted that in their previous rulings against Trump's first two executive orders banning travel from the nations in question, "In essence, judges were abandoning common standing rules, rereading binding precedent, and sometimes even ignoring controlling authority to rule against Donald Trump".

Last Monday, a brief one page order handed down by the Supreme Court directed the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the IRAP v. Trump as moot without expressing any view on the merits of the case.

Watson's ruling was echoed by a second federal judge hours later, as Theodore Chuang granted a preliminary injunction also blocking the ban.

Judge Derrick Watson began his opinion with a comparison of the federal government to professional athletes-an odd juxtaposition at a time when the president has picked a fight with black athletes protesting the treatment of people of color by the criminal justice system.

Sessions called the new ban lawful and necessary and said the Trump administration is "proud to defend it".