In the latest legal setback for President Trump's attempt to change US immigration policy, a federal judge in Madison, Wisconsin, William Conley, blocked Trump's revised travel ban on Friday, barring enforcement of the policy to deny U.S. entry to the wife and child of a Syrian refugee who was already granted asylum in the United States. Conley's temporary restraining order applies only to the family of the Syrian refugee, who brought the case anonymously to protect the identities of his wife and daughter who still live in Aleppo.
The ruling represents the first of several challenges brought against Trump's newly amended executive order, issued on March 6 and due to go into effect on March 16, to draw a court ruling in opposition to its enforcement.
Conley, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and is chief judge of the federal court in Wisconsin's western district, concluded the plaintiff "has presented some likelihood of success on the merits" of his case and that his family faces "significant risk of irreparable harm" if forced to remain in Syria according to Reuters.
"The court appreciates that there may be important differences between the original executive order, and the revised executive order," Conley wrote in his decision. "As the order applies to the plaintiff here, however, the court finds his claims have at least some chance of prevailing for the reasons articulated by other courts."
The plaintiff, a Sunni Muslim, fled Syria to the United States in 2014 to "escape near-certain death" at the hands of sectarian military forces fighting the Syrian government in Aleppo, according to his lawsuit. He subsequently obtained asylum for his wife and their only surviving child, a daughter, and their application had cleared the security vetting process and was headed for final processing when it was halted by Trump's original travel ban on Jan. 27.
It was not all bad news for Trump however. In a related development on Friday, the federal judge in Seattle who imposed a nationwide injunction on enforcement of the original travel ban refused a request to apply that order to the revised policy, saying that lawyers from states opposed to the measure needed to file more extensive court papers.