Federal judges have suspended president Donald Trump’s new decree, which closes the borders of the United States to people from six predominantly-Muslim countries, and they promised a judicial battle.
Hawaiian Judge Derrick Watson said that suspending the decree would avoid “irreparable damage” and ruled out that an emergency appeal could reverse his decision.
The new decree came into force yesterday. The previous decree closed the border to refugees for 120 days and froze the delivery of visas to citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.
Iraq, which had been included in the first list, was excluded from the revised version.
Trump had stated that the new immigration order corrected unclear aspects of the first version and that he therefore trusted that it would be practically impossible for a court to suspend it.
Judges’ new decision can only now be appealed to higher courts.
The first decree was signed by Trump on January 27th, but it was blocked by judge Robart in a decision that was later ratified by an appeals court.
That first executive order generated great confusion at airports across the country and made thousands of people protest on the streets.
The government has explained that the decision to restrict the access of certain foreigners relies on presidential powers and has reiterated that it is not based on religious motivation.
The law in fact prohibits segregation for religious reasons.
However, judge Watson wrote in his ruling that the “illogical” argument was “palpable.”
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman called Watson’s ruling “a new victory for the Constitution and the rule of law.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that “the Constitution has once again put a stop to the shameful and discriminatory prohibition” of immigration.
Since the attacks in New York and Washington in September 2001, all serious attacks in the United States have been carried out by Americans or people from countries that were not included in the presidential decree.