The Trump administration has appealed an order by a federal judge in Hawaii that indefinitely blocks the president's executive order restricting travel to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program.
The state of Hawaii sued to stop the travel ban, arguing the president's policy violates the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson extended his nationwide order blocking the executive order while the lawsuit continues. The administration has asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule against Watson.
Hawaii officials argued that the ban — a modified version issued after the first executive order was also blocked by federal courts — discriminates against travelers on the basis of religion. Watson said in his ruling that the state had shown "a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim, that irreparable injury is likely if the requested relief is not issued."
As the Two-Way has reported, the president sought to deny entry to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and suspend the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.
The first part of the executive order, affecting travelers from the six majority-Muslim countries, was also blocked by a U.S. district judge in Maryland. That preliminary injunction remains in effect. The Trump administration is appealing the Maryland ruling to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Trump administration promised "extreme vetting" of people seeking visas and has issued guidelines in a series of memorandums from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to U.S. embassies.