Federal Judge Blocks Latest Revision of Trump's Ban
A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked the latest version of President Donald Trump's travel ban.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson granted a temporary restraining order Tuesday, concluding that Trump appeared to run afoul of federal immigration law when he issued a proclamation last month restricting travel to the U.S. by citizens of eight countries.
Six of the eight nations are majority Muslim, but the judge's ruling does not focus on that issue.
Instead, Watson said in a 40-page ruling that Trump's justification for the travel restrictions contained in his Sept. 24 directive were insufficient to invoke a provision in federal law allowing the president to block admission of "any class of aliens....detrimental to the interests of the United States."
Trump's order "contains internal incoherencies that markedly undermine its stated 'national security' rationale," wrote Watson, an Obama appointee. "Numerous countries fail to meet one or more of the global baseline criteria described in [the directive], yet are not included in the ban...Moreover, [the order's] individualized country findings make no effort to explain why some types of visitors from a particular country are banned, while others are not."
Watson also said Trump's order was too sweeping to address the concerns the president set forth about inadequate intelligence sharing by foreign governments about travelers who could pose terrorist threats.
"The generalized findings regarding each country's performance...do not support the vast scope of" the directive, the judge wrote. "In other words, the categorical restrictions on entire populations of men, women, and children, based upon nationality, are a poor fit for the issues regarding the sharing of 'public-safety and terrorism-related information' that the President identifies."
"This leads to absurd results," Watson added, calling the new policy both "overbroad and underinclusive."