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Federal Judges continue to Block Trump’s Travel Ban

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A trend continues to persist with federal judges throughout the United States regarding Trump’s travel ban. Starting with a judge in Washington State who halted the first Trump travel ban, the second travel ban has experienced similar resistance from U.S. judges.

In Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson blocked Trump’s travel ban on the basis that Hawaii would financially suffer from the executive order since it relies on the flow of students and tourists to the state. Judge Watson concluded with the remark that Hawaii would likely succeed with its ruling by claiming that the ban violated the First Amendment protections against religious discrimination. He states, “The illogic of the government’s contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.” The judge’s actions have received polarizing reactions of approval and criticism. The Department of Justice responded to Judge Watson’s injunction by requesting him to narrow his decision in order to enforce the 120-day ban on admitting refugees. The Hawaiian’s judge remained true to his decision and refused to comply with the Justice Department’s motion. Currently, Judge Watson’s ruling has the most impact on Trump’s travel ban.

In Maryland, Judge Theodore Chuang issued a preliminary injunction on a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of refugee advocacy and legal groups arguing that the underlying rationale of the ban was to discriminate against Muslims, which is unconstitutional. This only covers the visa issuance section of the executive order, while the ruling by the Judge Watson covers two whole sections, preventing Trump from implementing his refugee resettlement program.

The Justice Department decided to play it safe and appeal the Maryland order over the Hawaii order in the ninth circuit court, keeping in mind that the ninth circuit issued a restraining order on Trump’s first order just last month.

Putting legal actions aside for a moment, the travel bans and related rulings have impeded travel for U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and U.S. visitors across the country.  Trump’s new travel ban supposedly takes on a better national security rationale meant to protect and safeguard the citizens of the United States. However, it has instilled fear and trepidation into U.S. citizens who feel targeted by the travel ban due to their physical appearance or by their name. Just last week, a former police chief by the name of Hassan Aden was detained at JFK airport even though he had a U.S. passport and TSA pre-check clearance. He barely made his flight from New York to Washington, D.C. Ironically, his TSA pre-check clearance permitted a speedy process through the TSA line after he was released by the CBP officer.

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