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Immigration Response Team Update: Court Blocks Travel Ban 3.0

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Yesterday federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii blocked the latest version of President Trump’s travel ban imposing permanent restrictions on travel to the United States from predominantly Muslim-majority countries. The ban was to go into effect today.

This is the third travel ban issued by executive order to be blocked by the courts.

Both judges came to similar conclusions in finding the president exceeded the authority granted by Congress to impose restrictions on people who want to enter the United States. 

Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland wrote that the administration had “not shown that national security cannot be maintained without an unprecedented eight-country travel ban.”

Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii wrote, “EO-3 [Executive Order 3] plainly discriminates based on nationality.”

Issued September 24, the president’s most recent travel ban (often called Travel Ban 3.0) would have prohibited most citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad and North Korea from entering the United States. Citizens of Iraq and certain citizens of Venezuela would face additional scrutiny. 

The addition of North Korea and Venezuela had no practical effect since very few North Koreans travel to the United States and the restrictions on Venezuela apply only to certain government officials and their families. Many legal experts say those two countries were included to prevent legal challenges.

The Justice Department has said it plans to appeal the ruling. As a result, the situation could change quickly.

If you are an international student or scholar from a country included in the September 24 travel ban, we strongly encourage you to be in contact with ISSS for any questions, especially if you are considering travel. 

The Immigration Response Team is also available for consultations. You can reach us at

This content was originally posted on the Immigration Response Team website.


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