A federal judge in the United States has ruled to block President Donald Trump’s latest version of a travel ban that affects people from Chad, Libya and Somalia, as well as five other nations including Syria.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu, Hawaii, prevents the ban from going into effect with the exception of travel to the U.S. from North Korea and Venezuela. The ban, introduced at the end of September, was supposed to go into effect on Wednesday and replace the previous version of the Trump administration’s controversial bans on entry to the U.S.
The judge found the ban may violate U.S. immigration law, and the decision is temporary pending the outcome of a full lawsuit. Watson’s decision stops the implementation of the ban nationwide. A similar challenge to the travel ban was heard in the U.S. state of Maryland. There, Judge Theodore Chuang heard arguments Monday about how implementation of the ban exceeds Trump’s executive authority when it comes to U.S. immigration law, and appears to target Muslims in ways viewed as discriminatory.
In statements issued by the White House last month, the Trump administration explained that the new rules are based on compliance with U.S. security expectations evaluated in a number of countries, and reflect whether or not they’ve upgraded passport controls and other requirements. It was, therefore, tied to security procedures and cooperation, and not targeting Muslim nations, the government said.
The new ban removed Sudan from the list of targeted nations, but added Chad in a decision that confused and angered African leaders who see Chad as a partner in counterterrorism and security efforts.