A federal judge in Hawaii has extended his order blocking President Trump’s controversial travel ban, refusing a request by the Trump administration to narrow his ruling. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson rejected an argument made by the Justice Department on Wednesday that Hawaii would not be directly affected by a freeze on the inflow of asylum-seekers, a claim made to the judge by Department of Justice attorney Chad Readler.
Readler had asked the judge to narrow his ruling to cover only Trump’s suspension of new visas for citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries, arguing that the travel ban would not have a significant affect on Hawaii. Watson disagreed, however, noting that 20 asylum-seekers had been resettled in Hawaii since 2010. “Is this a mathematical exercise that 20 isn’t enough?… What do I make of that?” the judge told Readler. Watson ultimately sided with Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, who described Trump’s revised ban as a “neon sign flashing ‘Muslim ban, Muslim ban.’”
“We cannot fault the president for being politically incorrect, but we do fault him for being constitutionally incorrect,” Chin said. The temporary order blocking Trump’s travel ban in the state has thus been extended until Hawaii’s lawsuit over the matter has been resolved. Hawaii became the first state to sue to stop Trump’s revised travel ban this month, prompting the president to accuse Watson of “unprecedented judicial overreach.” The state has maintained the ban is discriminatory and would be harmful to Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy. Read more.