Virginia judge blocks Trump travel ban

Virginia judge blocks Trump travel ban”

A federal judge in Alexandria on Monday night granted Virginia's request for a preliminary injunction, further impeding President Donald Trump's executive order on refugees and immigration.

Separately on Monday, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema granted a preliminary injunction barring implementation of the president's order against anyone who lives, works or attends school in Virginia.

The judge declined to issue her injunction on nationwide basis "to avoid any claim that" it is "defective because of overbreadth".

Brinkema said the Justice Department had responded to Virginia's injunction request with "no evidence".

A federal appeals court in California has already upheld a national temporary restraining order stopping the government from implementing the ban, which is directed at seven Muslim-majority countries.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who argued the case against the ban, praised the judge's decision saying "the overwhelming evidence shows that this ban was conceived in religious bigotry".

She also criticised the president's statements that persecuted Christians may be permitted entry despite the ban, which she said amounts to a religious test.

"Brinkema also ruled that the order was "disruptive to the operation of [Virginia's] public colleges and universities", resulting in reduced revenue, causing "'anxiety, confusion, and distress" among university personnel, and "inflaming "anti-American sentiment'" overseas.

Brinkema wrote that Virginia has produced evidence that the president's executive order has been disruptive to the operation of its public colleges and universities, affecting worldwide travel of at least 350 students attending Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary combined.

The injunction, in place until a trial is held on the order's constitutionality, bars the administration from enforcing the ban in the commonwealth.

The Yemeni men have since been allowed to enter the United States. "Every presidential action must still comply with the limits set by Congress' delegation of power and the constraints of the Constitution, including Bill of Rights", she wrote. The Trump administration has said it will appeal the federal ruling and possibly issue a new order.

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