Trump administration appeals halt of travel ban

The Trump administration filed a notice in a Maryland federal district court on Friday that it would appeal the court’s decision halting the president’s revised travel ban.

The case, in which the judge on Thursday ruled against President Trump’s effort to stop immigration for 90 days from six majority-Muslim countries, heads to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. The administration is asking the appeals court to reverse the lower court’s decision.

The Maryland case, which was brought on behalf of immigrants and nonprofit groups that work with refugees, followed a Hawaii federal court’s broader order against the travel ban on Wednesday. That order stopped its pause on immigration from the six nations and its 120-day moratorium on refugee resettlement.

The travel ban was supposed to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday.

Both courts found Trump’s travel rules to run afoul of the Constitution by discriminating against Muslims. The courts pointed to Trump’s statements promising to suspend Muslim immigration and interviews with campaign and White House officials to make their cases.

“President Trump’s Muslim ban has fared miserably in the courts, and for good reason — it violates fundamental provisions of our Constitution. We look forward to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court,” Omar Jadwat of the American Civil Liberties Union, who argued against the travel ban in the Maryland court, said in a statement Friday.

Trump has vowed to take the travel ban to the Supreme Court and has said it falls within his rights as president to control immigration and protect the country from terrorism.

Speaking at a Nashville rally this week, Trump called the revised travel order a “watered down” version of a Jan. 27 executive order that was halted by a Seattle federal judge. That judge’s decision was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The first travel ban stopped refugee resettlement from all countries for 120 days — and from Syria indefinitely — and banned citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days while the government was to review its vetting procedures.

The new order attempted to address court concerns by removing a preference for refugees who are religious minorities and giving exemptions from the travel order to green-card holders and those who already have valid visas. It also removed Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens could not come to the U.S.

jaweed.kaleem@latimes.com

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