President Trump’s efforts to restrict the flow of refugees from terror-prone countries over national security considerations face another roadblock from the federal courts, despite the fact that the President has revised his famous travel ban in an attempt to comply with the concerns of judges who have stricken it down in the past.
According to the Washington Times, on Tuesday, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked a major portion of Trump’s travel ban just hours before it was set to take effect. Judge Derrick K. Watson of Hawaii said the travel ban discriminates against Muslims without providing proper justification about why the Executive Order’s restricted countries made the list.
Trump’s most recent travel ban is the latest in a series of three Executive Orders aimed at halting migration from countries with high occurrences of terror. The action is part of the President’s goal to provide “extreme vetting” for persons entering the country.
In particular, the order targets countries who are uncooperative in providing information about refugees, or who are unable to obtain complete information about migrants destined for the US.
As Christian News Alerts reported, the Supreme Court tossed out the case against Trump’s previous Executive Order because its 90-day ban on travel from various nations with high levels of terrorism expired–making the case moot.
The new travel ban includes several modifications. Most prominently, the order is indefinite, as opposed to a mere 90-day halt on entries. Additionally, certain countries were dropped from the restricted list while others were added.
Among the new additions are North Korea and Venezuela, whose inclusion seemingly dispels the notion that the Executive Order is a “Muslim ban.” Nevertheless, Judge Watson asserts the order discriminates against Muslims.
“Although national security interests are legitimate objectives of the highest order, they cannot justify the public’s harms when the President has wielded his authority unlawfully,” Watson wrote. For the judge, the order breaks the “founding principles of this nation.”
Watson, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, took issue with the travel ban’s alleged singling out of refugees by nationality. Nevertheless, he only restricted the Executive Order’s ban on the Muslim majority countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Watson left the ban on North Korean and Venezuelan migrants in place.
The judge argued the White House did not sufficiently prove why additional restrictions are needed on migrants from the listed countries, and cited a Department of Homeland Security memo that says country of origin does not effectively predict terrorist activity. The Trump administration counters that it made its picks after careful review of the migration situations of countries around the world.
Sudan, for instance, was removed from the restricted list under the new order because its government has vowed to cooperate with American screening processes. Meanwhile, Somalia was added because officials determined its government lacks control over large parts of the country, which casts doubt over its documents.
This judge is the third to block the travel ban. Are they obstructing our president?
Hawaii’s Attorney General, Doug Chin, celebrated the ruling, saying “This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion. Today is another victory for the rule of law.”
The Trump administration pledges to keep fighting for the Executive Order. A spokesman for the Justice Department said: “Today’s ruling is incorrect, fails to properly respect the separation of powers and has the potential to cause serious negative consequences for our national security.”