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Second Judge Rules against Travel Ban
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Summary: A Maryland federal judge is the second to the place a hold on the travel ban citing President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim words during his campaign as the reason to stop it.

A Maryland federal judge issued another halt on the newest version of the Trump administration’s entry ban. The judge based his ruling on President Donald Trump’s own words from his campaign and posts on Twitter, believing with a strong indication that the ban was an attack on Muslims.


U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang’s ruling is less comprehensive than the halt issued by a Hawaii judge. The block does stop the administration from enforcing the ban on those with a “bona fide” relationship with someone or something in the United States like family members, school, or other professional engagements.

Chuang directly addressed Trump’s comments as proof that the ban was an “inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban.” Director Omar Jadwat of the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union agreed. He said, “Like the two versions before it, President Trump’s latest travel ban is still a Muslim ban at its core. And like the two before it, this one is going down to defeat in the courts.”

The latest version of the ban is the third attempt by the Trump administration to pass the order banning the entry of those from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Venezuela. They have modified the countries since the first attempt and some of the wording in the order. The federal judge in Hawaii allowed the ban to continue for only North Korea and Venezuela. The judge, Derrick K. Watson, ruled that a ban on the other countries was unconstitutional.

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Watson stopped the administration from enforcing the order on the citizens of the six countries even if they didn’t have a “bona fide” connection to the United States. Watson did not address if the travel ban was an anti-Muslim order. He just focused on how the president had exceeded his authority that Congress gave him regarding immigration law.

The Justice Department is already taking steps to appeal his ruling and will likely appeal Chuang’s. They said Watson’s ruling “undercuts the President’s efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States.”

The Trump administration claims the revised ban is for national security and was only drawn up after officials conducted an extensive review of the information needed to vet those applying to come to the United States. The countries that were unwilling to produce the required information were included in the banned list. The White House said, “These restrictions are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our Nation.”

Chuang’s assessment of the order focused on the effect it had on those of the Islamic faith. In December 2015 when Trump was a presidential candidate, he made a promise of a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Chuang used this comment as the basis of his decision against the order. Trump continued to make similar comments during his campaign and after that, giving the sense that the ban was his way of keeping that promise.

Do you think the ban is an anti-Muslim ban? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the legal challenges against the travel ban, read these articles:



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