A US federal judge in Hawaii has issued a nationwide order blocking Donald Trump’s latest travel ban.
On March 6, Trump issued a new and narrower travel ban, affecting six countries, after his first order was stopped by a court.
Judge Derrick K. Watson of Federal District Court in Honolulu, quoting a Trump campaign document titled “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”, wrote that a reasonable, objective observer would view even the new order as issued with a purpose to disfavour a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.
“For instance, there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release,”.
Judge Watson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, ruled that the State of Hawaii and an individual plaintiff, Ismail Elshikh, the Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, had reasonable grounds to challenge the order as religious discrimination.
The judge singled out Mr. Elshikh, an American citizen whose Syrian mother-in-law had been pursuing a visa to enter the United States, as having an especially strong claim that the travel regulations would harm him on the basis of his religion.