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Trump's Travel Ban 3.0 Temporarily Blocked by Federal District Judge

By George Khoury, Esq. on October 18, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will, undoubtedly, be getting ready to hear the appeal of travel ban 3.0 which was just temporarily blocked by the federal district court in Hawaii. Notably, Judge Derrick Watson, the same judge that blocked travel ban 2.0, issued the order in this case as well.

Unlike the prior bans, the newest iteration of the executive order imposed a permanent ban on immigration and visitors from six Muslim majority nations, as well as North Korea and Venezuela. Interestingly, there are barely any visitors from North Korea, and the restriction on Venezuela only applied to certain government officials from the country. Even more interestingly, Judge Watson only issued an injunction as to the six Muslim majority nations and allowed it to move forward as to North Korea and Venezuela.

TB 3.0 Discriminates Against Nationality

As Judge Watson pointed out, the newest travel ban, set to take effect on October 18, 2017, suffered from many of the same problems as the prior bans. Namely, the bans lack a sufficient basis or factual evidence to support them. The newest ban focuses on Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad, and just seems to include North Korea and Venezuelan government officials in a veiled, but lackluster attempt to get around prior travel ban rulings.

While the White House and government lawyers insist that the newest ban is based upon factual support, they refused to show that evidence to Judge Watson. Allegedly the evidence is contained in a DHS report. However, who is actually banned from entry as a result of the latest travel ban was tailored based upon the prior orders and is generally limited to those who do not have a "bona fide" connection to the U.S.

Generally, the grant or denial of a preliminary injunction can only be reviewed by an appellate court for an abuse of discretion. In this matter, while the government may have been able to thread the needle prepared for them by SCOTUS, appellate review may not be able to reverse Judge Watson's decision unless the stringent abuse of discretion standard is met.

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