Thursday March 30, 2017
The revised travel ban has drawn protests across the US. Getty Images
A US federal judge in Hawaii has indefinitely extended the suspension of President Trump’s new travel ban.
Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling means Mr Trump will be barred from enforcing the ban on six mostly Muslim nations while it is contested in court.
In a lawsuit, the US state says the ban would harm tourism and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.
President Trump says his revised travel ban seeks to prevent terrorists from entering the United States.
Judge Watson made the ruling late on Wednesday after hearing arguments from attorneys for the state of Hawaii and the US Department of Justice.
The judge turned his earlier temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction that would have a more lasting effect.
President Trump’s executive order on 6 March would have placed a 90-day ban on people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and a 120-day ban on refugees.
An earlier version of the order, issued in late January, sparked confusion and protests, and was blocked by a judge in Seattle.
Other courts across the US have issued different rulings on Mr Trump’s revised ban, with a judge in Maryland halting a part of the ban earlier this month.
Judge Watson turned his earlier temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction. AP
Mr Trump has complained of “unprecedented judicial overreach”, pledging to take the case “as far as it needs to go”.
An appeal against the Hawaii decision would be expected to go next to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – the same court which in February said it would not block a ruling by a Seattle court to halt the original travel ban.
Who does the travel ban affect?
Under the revised order, citizens of six countries on the original 27 January order – Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen – would once more be subject to a 90-day travel ban.
Iraq was removed from the list because its government had boosted visa screening and data sharing, White House officials said.
The revised order also lifts an indefinite ban on all Syrian refugees and says Green Card holders (legal permanent residents of the US) from the named countries will not be affected.