Three travel bans have come out of the White House administration. They have all been blocked by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland.
President Donald Trump signed a third executive order on Sept. 24 trying to institute a travel ban from, now, eight countries. The ban aimed to block residents of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and the leaders of Venezuela.
Six of the countries are majority Muslim.
This third attempt of a travel ban was blocked by Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii and Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland before it went into effect. They blocked the ban for the six majority countries but not for North Korea and the Venezuelan leaders.
Both judges, in their decision, said this version of the travel ban discriminates based on nationality and religion. According to NPR, Chuang said this ban is an “inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban.”
Watson did not mention whether this was another attempt to specifically block Muslims from coming into the country, but said Trump overreached in his authority given to him by Congress to make laws on immigration, according to the Washington Post.
Watson also wrote that the administration did not make any effort to explain why some individuals from certain countries were banned but others were not. He also questioned why the current laws and vetting process, which takes 18 to 24 months on average, the U.S. has now would not be sufficient.
The White House administration and the Justice Department are not pleased with these actions. According to NPR, the Justice Department will appeal both rulings, which may lead this version of the travel ban to the Supreme Court.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to the decisions in a statement saying, “The entry restrictions in the proclamation apply to countries based on their inability or unwillingness to share critical information necessary to safely vet applications, as well as a threat assessment related to terrorism, instability, and other grave national security concerns.”
According to CNN, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin defended Watson’s decision in a statement saying, “This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion. Today is another victory for the rule of law. We stand ready to defend it.”
Chuang explained in his ruling that he took into account the presidents‘ tweets and statements he made as president and candidate, specifically a document from 2015 called, “Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration.”
Chuang wrote he did not believe the administration relied on data about the countries mentioned in the ban, but primarily focused on affecting individuals from Muslim majority nations.
He wrote, “No evidence, even in the form of classified information submitted to the court, showing an intelligence-based terrorism threat justifying a ban on entire nationalities.”
Chuang is not the only one to see this travel ban as a version of a Muslim Ban. The American Civil Liberties Union has been fighting every attempt of the travel ban since the beginning.
According to NPR, the director of ACLU’s Immigrants Rights Projects, Omar Jadwat, 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. Religious discrimination with window dressing is still unconstitutional.”