Judge issues permanent injunction against Trump's travel ban

Cheryl Sanders
March 30, 2017

Judge Derrick Watson's ruling means Mr Trump will be barred from enforcing the ban on six mostly Muslim nations while it is contested in court.

The state has urged Watson to extend his ruling until the lawsuit is resolved.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued the ruling after hearing arguments.

During the hearing held Wednesday morning, the Trump administration requested to narrow the broad scope of the injunction so that it only covers the part of the executive order that suspends new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries, The Associated Press reported. "It's as if there's a flashing neon sign behind them saying 'Muslim ban, Muslim ban'".

Justice Department attorney Chad Readler argued before the judge that the refugee resettlement restriction had no effect on far-flung Hawaii, the paper said.

The Trump administration has chosen not to appeal Watson's decision, but instead to appeal a Maryland court ruling.

Trump's nominee to replace Scalia, appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, is facing intense resistance from Democratic senators who are vowing to block his confirmation.

In a lawsuit, the U.S. state of Hawaii says the ban would harm tourism and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.

The revised travel ban changed and replaced the original, more sweeping executive order issued on January 27 that caused chaos and protests at airports and was challenged in more than two dozen lawsuits across the US.

"The Court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has", Watson wrote in his judgment.

A federal appeals court rejected the U.S. government's emergency request to resume the ban.

"The next move is theirs", Hawaii's attorney general said of the Department of Justice, adding that the government would likely appeal.

The court remained unconvinced of the government's arguments, and reiterated assertions made in its original order of March 15.

Watson's ruling allows the lawsuit to work its way through the courts. The earlier version of the executive order was blocked by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle. However, TROs are usually short-term orders that expire after several weeks.

As the Two-Way has reported, the president sought to deny entry to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and suspend the USA refugee program for 120 days. For now, the ban is halted indefinitely.

The lawyer replied that 20 is simply a small number of refugees. But Watson questioned that reasoning by noting that the government said there have been 20 refugees resettled in Hawaii since 2010. The next step for the Trump administration would be an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which previously ruled against Trump's first travel ban. That order went a step further ordering that the government could not "detain or remove" those who arrived legally from the seven countries subject to Trump's order.

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