A federal judge in Hawaii blocked indefinitely President's Trump new executive action
imposing a 90-day ban on visa issuance to citizens from six Muslim-majority nations and suspending US refugee program for 120 days.
The State of Hawaii sued the federal government on the basis that the new travel ban – a modified version of the first executive order which was also blocked in federal courts - will hurt its tourist dependent economy and discriminates against Muslims. On March 15, US District Judge Derrik Watson issued nationwide Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) prohibiting the government from implementing President Trump's travel ban. The TRO was supposed to last for 2 weeks.
On March 29, Judge Watson heard arguments to determine if the block should be extended. In defending the travel ban, the Department of Justice argued that the executive action falls within the president's power to protect national security. Judge Watson rejected that argument saying in his ruling that the state has shown "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."
The Trump administration promised to implement "extreme vetting" of visa applicants was most recently reflected in a series of cables (or memoranda) released by the Department of State. The cables were intended to implement Trump's second Executive Order imposing a travel ban. The new rules would have broadly increase scrutiny of visa applicants. The Department of State ordered consular post to halt implementation subsequent to Judge Watson's temporary restraining order.