Hawaii Judge Blocks Trump’s New Travel Ban, POTUS Fires Back
A federal judge in Hawaii in the United States of America on Wednesday blocked President Donald Trump’s new travel ban just hours before the ban was set to go into effect.
US District Court Judge Derrick Watson in a 43-page ruling ruled that the new travel ban as contained in an executive order issued by President Trump failed to pass legal muster.
The judge added that the executive order could promote religious discrimination, thus supporting the claim of the state of Hawaii which challenged the legality of the order.
Trump at a rally in Nashville Tenessee however reacted to the order late Wednesday and described the court ruling as “bad news.”
The American president described the court ruling as both flawed and “in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach.”
He added that the new travel ban was a watered down version of the initial ban he proposed and which he may consider returning to. He also vowed to approach the Supreme Court if necessary, adding that a notable Democratic Party lawyer had even admitted that the apex court would most likely uphold the travel ban.
By reason of Judge Watson’s ruling, travellers from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees will again be able to travel to the US.
CNN reports that unlike the previous executive order, the new one removed Iraq from the list of banned countries, exempted those with green cards and visas and removed a provision that arguably prioritises certain religious minorities.
The new ban was announced earlier this month and was set to take effect Thursday. It would have banned people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.
A number of Nigerian travellers had complained of being turned back from the US shortly after the order was issued, even though Nigeria was not listed.
Special assistant to the president on the diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa issued a travel advisory urging Nigerians to avoid non-essential travel to the US.
Foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama however countered the presidential aide and stated that Nigerians were free to travel to the US whenever they wanted as his office had not received any reports of Nigerians with valid travel documents being deported.
The minister stressed that there was a healthy relationship between Nigeria and the United States which was highlighted by the recent phone conversation between President Trump and President Muhammadu Buhari.
As more Nigerians complained and civil society groups called on then acting President Yemi Osinbajo to caution Trump on the harassment of Nigerians travelling to the US, the foreign affairs minister announced that the federal government would investigate the claims.
You can watch President Trump’s comments on Wednesday’s court ruling here.
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