Judge blocks Trump's third travel ban

By Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Oct. 17, 2017 at 4:40 PM
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Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Hawaii on Tuesday blocked much of the Trump administration's third attempt at a travel ban largely targeting Muslim majority nations.

The judicial order said the United States cannot block entry by people from six of the eight countries -- Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The travel ban is still in place for some travelers from North Korea and Venezuela.

Judge Derrick K. Watson said President Donald Trump's third ban didn't sufficiently differentiate itself from his previous two criticized bans.

The order "plainly discriminates based on nationality," Watson said, and 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.'"

A statement from the White House said the Justice Department would defend the order.

"Today's dangerously flawed district court order undercuts the president's efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States," the statement said.

The American Civil Liberties Union and partner organizations in September sued to stop the implementation of the order, which was announced Sept. 24.

U.S. officials said the eight countries listed in the ban were unable or unwilling to provide information the United States required to fully vet travelers.

Federal judges blocked the first two versions of Trump's travel ban and the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments on the second order in its new term. The high court canceled the hearing after a third ban rendered the previous lawsuit moot.

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