A federal judge in the US state of Hawaii has blocked President Donald Trump’s latest version of travel ban, saying it “plainly discriminates based on nationality.”
Derrick K. Watson, the judge of US Federal District Court in Honolulu, issued a nationwide order on Tuesday and blocked the third version of Trump’s controversial travel ban, calling it discriminatory and in contravention to immigration law.
The new regulations, set last month, indefinitely banned entry to the US by most nationals of Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea. The restriction also targeted certain Venezuelan government officials and their families.
Watson wrote that the latest ban “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States.’”
The Hawaii judge had previously blocked Trump’s second travel ban from going into effect in March and the first executive order that limited travel from seven Muslim-majority countries was blocked by a federal judge in Seattle.
In a statement later in the day, the White House expressed confidence that higher courts would reverse Watson’s ruling and criticized his decision, saying that it “undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe.”
The ruling came a day after human rights groups in the US sought a court order to suspend Trump’s latest version of a controversial travel ban, which they argue discriminates against Muslims.
Trump has issued three travel bans since coming to office in January. His third ban was announced September 24 and takes effect October 18.
During the 2016 presidential race, Trump campaigned for “a total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States on the pretext of preventing terrorist attacks.