US President Donald Trump’s latest effort to restrict citizens of certain countries from entering the United States has been temporarily thwarted by the state of Hawaii, which argues the ban violates federal immigration law.
The executive order should have taken effect this week. It’s the third version. This time, it targets nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as some Venezuelan government officials.
Hawaii is questioning the legality of forbidding entry to people from six of the countries, but has not disputed the addition of North Korea and Venezuela.
US District Judge Derrick Watson ruled that much of the nationwide executive order should be halted. The Honolulu Justice said Hawaii was likely to successfully prove that the latest travel restrictions violate federal immigration law.
“[It] 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’,” Watson wrote.
In response, the White House said the court order was “dangerously flawed”. It claims Trump’s executive order is designed “to keep the American people safe” and has vowed to defend what it calls a “lawful action.”
The open-ended ban was announced last month. Legal experts predict the case will, ultimately, end up being heard in the Supreme Court.