US judge extends halt on second Trump travel ban

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A district court in Hawaii has granted a motion to extend a temporary halt on Donald Trump’s second travel ban until the state’s lawsuit against the president is resolved in court.

The order from judge Derrick Watson of the District Court of Hawaii grants a motion to convert the initial, temporary restraining order to a preliminary injunction. It states:

Upon consideration of the parties’ submissions, and following a hearing on March 29, 2017, the Court concludes that, on the record before it, Plaintiffs have met their burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim, that irreparable injury is likely if the requested relief is not issued, and that the balance of the equities and public interest counsel in favor of granting the requested relief.

The latest ruling means the president’s second executive order – which bars entry to the United States by citizens of six predominantly Muslim nations and freezes new refugee admissions for 120 days – will remain unenforced until the suit against Mr Trump by the state of Hawaii and one of its Muslim residents is resolved.

The initial restraining order, also signed by district judge Watson, came just hours before the second attempt to curb arrivals was due to take effect.

Critics have described both the original order and its replacement as a “Muslim ban”, in keeping with the president’s campaign promise for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.

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