Washington A US federal judge on Tuesday barred the White House form implementing yet another version of President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration hours before it was due to go into full effect.
The decision by US District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii which the white house signaled it would appeal marks the latest blow to Trump’s long running efforts to restrict entry of travelers form targeted countries into the United States.
Watson said the third rendition of the travel ban covering people form six mainly Muslim countries as well as North Korea and some officials from Venezuela could not be justified under law.
In his decision Watson wrote the ban suffers form precisely the same maladies as its predecessor it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals form six specific countries would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.
The ruling means the Trump administration could again ask the Supreme Court to decide whether his immigration orders are legal. The newest order was announced in September to replace and expiring 90 day temporary ban on travelers form the Muslim majority nations of Iran Libya Somalia Sudan Syria and Yemen.
The White House justified the measure as needed to protect US national security but critics said it appeared virtually the same as the original order of 27 January.
Courts shot that version down saying it targeted Muslims violating the US constitutional protections for religious freedom. A second version was only slightly adjusted and was quickly tied up in similar legal wrangling. When the ban expired the court said there was nothing to rule on.
The White House quickly rejected his argument calling it dangerously flawed and promising to fight the action. The entry restrictions in the proclamation apply to countries based on their inability or unwillingness to share critical information necessary to safely vet applications as well as a threat assessment related to terrorism instability and other national security concerns it said.
But the administration appeared to be preparing to back away form this widely criticized position. State Department spokeswomen Heater Nauert announced that in recent weeks the Chad government had shown a clear willingness to work closely with us on these issues.