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The Trump's administration's third attempt to ban travelers from certain countries was set to take effect today and will not - at least not in its entirety. Overnight, a federal judge in Maryland partially blocked the new travel ban, and that ruling follows a judge's ruling in Hawaii, which also blocked the ban. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports on the Hawaii court's judgment.
RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said Trump's new travel ban, the third version, which the judge calls executive order three, has the same problem as the two that preceded it. Watson wrote the travel ban, quote, "lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be detrimental to the interests of the United States." The judge adds that the ban plainly discriminates based on nationality. Eight countries were on the travel ban list - Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. The travel ban was challenged by the state of Hawaii, where Attorney General Douglas Chin praised the ruling.
DOUGLAS CHIN: We've always taken the position from the very first travel ban through the third one that these executive orders discriminate against people based upon their nation of origin or based upon their religion.
GONZALES: The White House responded swiftly with a statement saying today's dangerously flawed district court ruling undercuts the president's efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States. In a separate statement, the Justice Department promised it, quote, "will appeal in an expeditious manner." Judge Watson's ruling does not affect travelers from North Korea or Venezuela because Hawaii did not challenge their inclusion on the travel ban list. Carl Tobias teaches at the University of Richmond School of Law. He says critics of the travel ban see the listing of the two non-Muslim countries as a largely symbolic gesture.
CARL TOBIAS: The argument was made that it was just window dressing to try to distract from the idea it might be based on religion. And it really doesn't involve, I think, very many people from those countries.
GONZALES: Hawaii's law suit is just one of several filed against Trump's new travel ban. Two more are pending in Seattle and Washington, D.C. Richard Gonzales, NPR News.
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