A federal judge in the US state of Hawaii on Tuesday blocked the latest version of the Trump administration's travel ban on eight countries, just a day before it was to go into effect.
US District Judge Derrick Watson said the Trump administration's third attempt at a travel ban "plainly discriminates based on nationality" and goes against a federal appeals court ruling that previous travel bans exceeded authority.
The travel ban "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor," Watson said, adding that it failed to prove it would be "detrimental to the interests of the United States" to allow citizens of the targeted countries to enter the United States.
Travel ban target countries
President Donald Trump announced the revised travel ban last month impacting citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. It also targeted some Venezuelan government officials and their families. The judge in Hawaii did not say the restrictions on Venezuela were illegal.
The Trump administration argues the travel ban is based on security needs and targets countries that do share information with the US.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly called for banning Muslims from the United States. The latest travel ban added restrictions on Venezuela and North Korea, in what analysts said was an attempt to show that it wasn't a "Muslim ban."
The Supreme Court ruled in June to temporarily reinstate a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees.
However, it said that the travel restrictions did not apply to refugees or travelers with a "bona fide relationship" with a US person or entity.
Other state courts are also weighing legal challenges to the Trump administration's latest travel ban.
cw/jm (AP, dpa, Reuters)