By Lisa Nault
On March 15, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked President Donald J. Trump’s revised travel ban. U.S. District Judge Derrick Kahala Watson stated that the ban still discriminates based on nationality in his 43 page ruling. Judge Watson declared that there was significant evidence of religious animosity in the ban and that there should not be a 120-day pause on refugee resettlement.
Additional arguments against the ban include the fact that the ban would harm
Hawaii’s tourism industry. The ban could also potentially affect the state’s ability to recruit foreign students and workers.
The revised travel ban wants to prevent people from entering the U.S. if they are coming from one of six Muslim-majority countries. These countries include Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. In the original ban, Iraq was also listed.
The revised ban states additional reasoning for why the ban is necessary, such as preventing terrorism since supposedly these nations continue to present greater risks to the security of the U. S. The revised ban varies from the original one as it explains directly that the ban is not motivated by religious discrimination. It also provides a guide for those who are negatively impacted by the ban, allowing them documentation declaring they are allowed to enter into the U.S.
While Hawaii was the first state to declare a ruling against the travel ban it is not the only one. Judge Theodore D. Chuang in Maryland created an order that forbid the ban from going into effect on March 16, the day of the ban’s implementation.
There are other states that argue that the ban is unconstitutional including New York, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. However, there are several states in support of the travel ban. These states are Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
Those who are for the ban state the importance of national security. They support the idea of a new way to screen refugee applicants. These states disagree with Hawaii and Maryland that the ban enforces religious prosecution. They state that the ban will restrict specific foreign nations from entering the U.S. because they may pose a threat to security and not their religious beliefs.
Many people are split on the issue but there are some who feel that Judge Watson made a poor ruling and they are not happy with him. Recently, there have been a series of death threats made against Judge Watson as a result of his decision. Not much is known about the nature or source of these threats; authorities are keeping the situation as private as possible due to safety concerns.
The U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI are taking the threats seriously. It is their responsibility for the protection of federal judicial officials. There is little information available to the public regarding the exact protection plan for the judge. However, the U.S. Marshals Service did send a dozen deputies to Hawaii in order to provide 24-hour protection.
Currently, there is no news of Maryland Judge Chuang receiving any death threats. It is likely that the next few weeks will continue to have judicial rulings, from various states, regarding the travel ban.