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March 16, 2017

Kenney applauds courts for halting revised travel ban

Politics Jim Kenney
Mayor Jim Kenney; Thom Carroll photo Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

In this file photo from Jan. 12, 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney answers questions during an interview in his City Hall office.

Mayor Jim Kenney welcomed a federal court's decision to block President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, a move that Kenney said would have hurt Philadelphia's economy and betrayed the city's "founding principles."

A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the ban nationwide Wednesday night, the day before it was set to take effect, while a federal judge in Maryland blocked other provisions of the ban early Thursday morning.

The new ban was similar to Trump's first attempt but this time allowed Iraqis to enter the country. Iraqi citizens were previously included in a list of those banned from coming into the United States.

The new travel ban also allowed citizens from the prohibited countries who carry green cards and visas to enter the nation. 

Otherwise, people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were barred for 90 days, while refugees weren't able to enter for 120 days.

“As I said when it was first announced, the revised travel ban clearly seemed to be motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment and not by any evidence that this policy will strengthen our national security," Kenney said in a statement. "Yesterday’s rulings give credence to that perception. The latest travel ban would have hurt the City’s economy and betrayed our founding principles. I applaud the Courts for halting it, and urge the White House to put aside, once and for all, attempts to single out particular religions and ethnicities.”

Philadelphia was among 24 cities that challenged the ban in federal court Wednesday. 

During a rally in Nashville Wednesday night, Trump called the decision "unprecedented judicial overreach" and said he would take the decision to the Supreme Court if needed.