HONOLULU — A judge in Hawaii has blocked the latest version of the Trump administration travel ban just hours before it was set to take effect.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson on Tuesday granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the federal government from enforcing the policy. It was supposed to take effect at midnight EDT Wednesday.
The Trump administration’s most recent restrictions, which affect citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and some Venezuelan government officials and their families.
Hawaii argues the updated ban is a continuation of President Donald Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States.”
Other courts are weighing challenges to the policy. In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions in the president’s latest proclamation.
The White House issued this statement:
“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 Department of Justice will vigorously defend the President’s lawful action. The proclamation restricting travel was issued after an extensive worldwide security review by the Secretary of Homeland Security, and following consultation by the President with members of the Cabinet, including the Secretaries of Homeland Security, State, and Defense and the Attorney General. 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 security concerns. 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.”