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Federal Judge Blocks Trump Travel Ban Nationwide

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A U.S. federal judge has temporarily blocked large portions of a revised version of President Donald Trump's executive order on travel. The updated directive would have indefinitely prohibited citizens from eight countries entering the United States.

On Oct. 17, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii placed a nationwide injunction against the second revised version of the Trump administration's travel ban. The state of Hawaii called for a temporary block on the policy.

Issued by the Trump administration on Sept. 28, the executive order would have barred U.S. entry for citizens from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as some travelers from Venezuela. The ban was scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 18, The Washington Post reports.

Watson's ruling stopped a temporary block on the travel ban applying to the six Muslim-majority countries. The prohibition against travelers from North Korea and Venezuela will still go into effect.

In his written decision, Watson ruled that the revised order "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.'"

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Watson also ruled that he found the ban to be discriminatory based on nationality and to closely mirror Trump's previous calls for a Muslim ban.

In December 2015, the month after a terrorist attack in Paris that killed 130 people, Trump announced on the U.S. campaign trail that he would bar Muslims from entering America, according to The Atlantic.

The Trump campaign listed the proposal as an official policy, calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

On Jan. 27, Trump signed an executive order prohibiting U.S. entry for citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. The directive was met with protests at airports and several legal challenges before the president signed a revised version on March 6, according to Fox News.

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On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration's temporary travel ban could continue but also ruled that it would only apply to travelers who did not already have a bona fide relationship to the United States. The revised ban was set to expire in October 2017 until Trump instituted a third version.

On Sept. 24, Trump announced an updated version of the travel ban that would include Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. The revised policy was designed to be indefinite instead of temporary.

Two federal judges in Maryland and Washington state are currently considering similar challenges to the latest travel ban. They have yet to issue rulings on the matter.

Following Watson's decision, Department of Justice spokesperson Ian Prior announced that the Trump administration would file an appeal.

"Today's ruling is incorrect, fails to properly respect the separation of powers, and has the potential to cause serious negative consequences for our national security," Prior said.

Meanwhile, Hawaii's attorney general, Douglas Chin, praised the ruling.

"Today is another victory for the rule of law," Chin said. "We stand ready to defend it."

Sources: The Atlantic, Fox NewsThe Washington Post / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr / Embedded Images: Office of the President of the United States/Wikimedia Commons, Mark Fischer/Flickr

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