Trump’s Revised Travel Ban, Federal Judge In Hawaii Issues Temporary Restraining Order
Mar 20, 2017 09:18 AM EDT
A federal judge in Hawaii has issued a sweeping freeze of President Donald Trump's new executive order. Trump administration's revised travel ban now suspends the issuance of new visas to visitors from six Muslim-majority countries and new admissions of refugees.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson has issued a temporary restraining order that halts the revised travel ban nationwide. According to The Washington post, the directive would bring potential impacts for the Atlanta region, a tourist destination with a substantial foreign-born population, and businesses and institutions with international connections.
Hawaii argues that the directive, like the original travel ban issued in January, imposes an inconsiderable amount of ban on Muslim, which violates the First Amendment's ban on the government establishment of religion. "This is another significant victory against Trump's racist and Islamophobic agenda," Azadeh Shahshahani, the legal and advocacy director for an Atlanta immigrant rights advocacy group called Project South, said.
Although the White House and Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday, President Donald Trump has denied his executive order is a "Muslim ban." In fact, in court papers filed in Hawaii sometime this week, the Justice Department has highlighted that only a proportionate fraction of the world's Muslim-majority countries is subject to the revised travel ban.
Meanwhile, a number of state attorneys general and civil rights groups have filed lawsuits to block the directive, calling it unconstitutional. But the White House defends its take, in saying the revised travel ban is a legal directive that aims at preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, according to AJC.
Trump administration attorneys have upheld the notion that the first travel ban had been revised to address legal concerns, especially concerning its alleged favoritism towards Christians. Jeffrey Wall, who argued for the Justice Department told the Maryland court, "It doesn't say anything about religion. It doesn't draw any religious distinctions."