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Federal courts temporarily block Trump’s discriminatory travel ban

By Oxfam
Activists protesting the executive order barring refugees from the US on Sunday, January 29 in Boston's Copley Square. Photo: Lauren Levine / Oxfam

Judges in Hawaii and Maryland suspend Trump’s latest move to slam the door on refugees.

In a critical move to protect the world’s most vulnerable people, federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued a nationwide restraining order on President Trump’s newest travel ban. The ban, set to go into effect today, would have blocked travel from six Muslim-majority countries and suspended the US refugee resettlement program for 120 days. Trump’s first executive order on refugees and immigrants was also blocked with swift legal opposition, and these new court decisions show that his repackaged travel ban is just as discriminatory as his first attempt.

While these rulings are an important step in protecting refugees and immigrants, they are only temporary. The case will now likely go to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Trump has also said that he is prepared to appeal all the way to the US Supreme Court, if needed, to push his executive order through. Alongside the ongoing legal challenges, Congress also can take legislative action by supporting laws that would prohibit the use of Federal funds to enforce the executive order.

In response to these rulings, Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, said, "Oxfam welcomes this initial decision by the US District Court in Hawaii to suspend enforcement of President Trump's executive order. Today's court decision appropriately extends relief to thousands of people and we expect this be the first step in overturning this harmful and discriminatory executive order once and for all."

While Oxfam applauds these recent decisions, we know that this is just the beginning of a long fight ahead to make sure this harmful executive order will never be enforced. 

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