For the third time in 2017, US District Courts have thwarted the Trump administration’s attempt to implement a travel ban. On October 17, 2017, the US District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) blocking most of the restrictions President Trump laid out in his newest September 24, 2017 travel ban proclamation (the “Proclamation”). The court’s order only temporarily halts the Proclamation’s sections covering nationals from Chad, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia, but does not affect the Proclamation’s restrictions on citizens of North Korea and Venezuela.
On the same day, the US District Court for the District of Maryland issued its own nationwide preliminary injunction partially freezing enforcement of the country-specific restrictions of the Proclamation. Similar to the Hawaii TRO, the Maryland injunction does not apply to nationals of North Korea and Venezuela or to individuals without bona fide relationships with a US person or entity.
These two court rulings mean that citizens of the six Muslim-majority countries under the Proclamation may continue to obtain US visas and openly travel to the United States without overt restrictions. However, citizens of North Korea attempting to obtain immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and certain government officials and their family members from Venezuela seeking visitor visas for business or tourism (B-1/B-2) will still face restrictions.
The Trump Administration has vowed to appeal the rulings.