Published: Sun, April 02, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

16 states, DC urge court to continue to block travel ban

16 states, DC urge court to continue to block travel ban

In an attempt to downplay the effect suspending the nation's refugee program would have on Hawaii, Readler said only a small amount of refugees have been resettled in Hawaii.

In a hearing in Honolulu, Watson heard arguments from Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, asking to extend the block, and government attorneys, who wanted the judge to at least narrow its scope. That's what Watson issued against the travel ban on March 15.

The travel ban is also being challenged in a federal case originating from the state of Maryland. Several hours later, he issued a 24-page order blocking the government from suspending new visas for travellers from six Muslim-majority countries and from halting the US refugee program.

The nationwide block on President Donald Trump's travel ban isn't going anywhere, at least for now. It blocks the most significant parts of order, which seeks to prevent citizens of six majority-Muslim countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - from entering the USA for 90 days and stop all new refugee resettlement for 120 days.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson temporarily blocked the order, arguing that it likely violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

The three judges on the panel that will consider the department's appeal have not yet been named, but under the court's usual procedures, they will not be the same ones who rejected the earlier order.

The Justice Department on Thursday filed its notice of appeal to the freeze on President Trump's revised travel ban imposed by a federal judge in Hawaii.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson is listening to arguments Wednesday. That preliminary injunction remains in effect.

But the Trump administration may not be so quick to make an appeal. It more strictly looked at how the travel ban is worded in light of presidential power over immigration and national security.

The state argued that extending the temporary order ensures the constitutional rights of American Muslims are vindicated after "repeated stops and starts of the last two months". That indefinite hold is called a preliminary injunction, and a judge in the Western District of Maryland (part of the Fourth Circuit) has already issued one against part of the executive order.

The Justice Department on Thursday also asked a Seattle federal judge to suspend separate litigation filed by Washington state against Trump's travel restrictions until after the 9th Circuit rules on the Hawaii appeal. Like the original order, the second one prohibits entry to all refugees - people fleeing their homelands claiming persecution or fear of violence - for 120 days, but Syrian refugees are no longer barred indefinitely.

But Watson's initial decision was created to last only a couple of weeks.

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