Federal judge halts Trump travel ban for Virginia residents

Federal judge halts Trump travel ban for Virginia residents
© Getty Images

A federal judge in Virginia has issued a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of President Trump’s travel ban, according to reports, the latest setback against the president’s executive order.

The injunction applies only to residents of the commonwealth, as well as students or employees of public universities in Virginia.

ADVERTISEMENT
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that Trump’s executive order likely violates First Amendment protections against the freedom of religion, according to the decision.

The ruling follows a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to uphold a temporary nationwide freeze on Trump’s ban, which is directed at seven Muslim-majority countries.

Brinkema wrote that Virginia “has produced unrebutted evidence” that the order “was not motivated by rational national security concerns” but “religious prejudice” toward Muslims.

“The ‘Muslim Ban’ was a centerpiece of the president’s campaign for months, and the press release calling for it was still available on his website as of the day this Memorandum Opinion is being entered,” the judge wrote in her opinion.

Trump's executive order prevents people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia from entering the U.S. for 90 days, suspends refugee resettlement for 120 days and indefinitely suspends resettlement for refugees from Syria.