On Monday, a federal judge in Maryland heard arguments by lawyers stating pros and cons of the newest Trump travel ban and is now to make a decision on the travel restriction.
The judge, Theodore D. Chuang previously blocked the two preceding versions of Donald Trump’s executive orders banning Muslims from six countries from entering the United States. During the hearing, the same arguments were made as before, that Trump’s new version of the policy is unconstitutional and discriminates against Muslims.
Gadeir Abbas, an attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that despite some differences in the new version of the executive order, it is clear the president only intends to stigmatize Islam and discriminate against Muslims.
Citizens from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Venezuela are affected by the restrictions laid out in the latest version of the measure, which becomes effective on Wednesday.
Attorney Omar Jadwat described the ban as “a bigger, tougher version of the same ban” which was blocked by Chuang earlier this year, adding that this iteration is worse because it “excludes over 100 million people” and extends the ban “indefinitely.”
This version of the measure also includes limitations targeted at certain countries only. For instance, Iranians can only apply for student and cultural exchange visas, not immigrant or tourist visas, provided that they first undergo detailed examination, ABC News reports.
This version of the ban, said administration officials, is “based on detailed findings regarding the national security interests of the United States that were reached after a thorough, worldwide review and extensive consultation.”
The first two bans, which did not include some of the countries included in the new version, initiated a number of challenges in courts all around the country since they were first introduced at the beginning of the year.
The judge questioned lawyers on both sides, but he did not rule on the ban and is yet to say when he would do that.