Trump’s travel ban blocked for now; fight continues

A protester holds a sign during a rally against President Donald Trump's initial travel ban in January. (Photo by Lorie Shaull via Flickr)
A protester holds a sign during a rally against President Donald Trump’s initial travel ban in January. (Photo by Lorie Shaull via Flickr)

Update: Oct. 18, 2017: A second federal judge in Maryland issued a second block on the travel ban, saying that Trump’s campaign rhetoric was evidence that the order unconstitutionally singled out Muslims.

Original Story: A federal judge in Hawaii blocked President Donald Trump administration’s from implementing aspects of his third travel ban on Tuesday.

The 40-page order for a 14-day restraining order comes from U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson, who wrote “although national security interests are legitimate objectives of the highest order, they cannot justify the public’s harm when the President has wielded his authority unlawfully.”

The ban was set to take effect Oct. 18 and would restrict most citizens from Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela from entering the U.S.

“We welcome the decision,” said Sarah Stuteville, spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington. (Stuteville is a former columnist at The Seattle Globalist.) “While it is a victory, the fight certainly continues. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

CAIR-WA is one of multiple community organizations that helped organize “No Muslim Ban Ever” which is still scheduled for Oct. 18. Earlier this week, hundreds of people gathered at Westlake Park on Sunday to protest Trump’s immigration policies.

“Protests like this are a really valuable and important way to make solidarity and resistance visible,” Stuteville said. “It’s important to show administration that we won’t stand for unconstitutional bans, but it’s also a way to show communities most impacted that they’re not alone.”

In his decision, Watson wrote Trump’s executive order “plainly discriminates based on nationality.”

The original ban was introduced in January, which imposed travel restrictions on people traveling to seven countries with significant Muslim populations. That ban and a later update were blocked.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed arguments in court against the travel bans.

Trump’s latest ban added Chad, North Korea and Venezuela to the list of nations under the travel restrictions. Watson didn’t block the restrictions placed on North Korea and Venezuela.

Multiple organizations, including Americans for Refugees & Immigrants, Oxfam, WA Immigrant Solidarity Network -Red de Solidaridad de Inmigrantes en WA, ACLU of Washington are part of Wednesday’s demonstration.

“These aren’t things that will happen in isolation,” Stuteville said. “These kinds of racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic attacks have an impact on all of us.”

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