U.S. judge blocks latest travel ban

Last update: February 19, 2018

What are we talking about?

The third version of the travel ban issues by the President of the United States, which was supposed to go into effect Wednesday October 18th, 2017.


Which countries are subject to the ban?

Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and, to a lesser extent Venezuela. All the details here.


What happened?

A U.S. judge based in Hawaï issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the enforcement of the ban. An expedited hearing will take place to determine whether the TRO should be extended. If the TRO were to be extended, the U.S. government is widely expected to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.


What did the U.S. judge say?

Judge Watson essentially said that:

  1. The executive order signed by the President is engaging in nationality-based discrimination
  2. There is not enough evidence that the entry of citizens of the banned countries would be detrimental to the interest of the United States
  3. The tools for preventing individuals who are threats already exist: it is up to visa applicants to show that they are not inadmissible
  4. There are inconsistencies in the ban, which undermine its rationale

Which inconsistencies in the ban did the U.S. judge point out?

Quick highlights:

  • For certain countries, some type of visitors are accepted, but others are not.
  • Policy goals such as the motivation of a country to ‘combat terrorism’ seems to influence which country is subject to the ban, and which is not
  • Iraq’s security is found lacking, but the country is omitted from the ban

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