As President Donald Trump seeks to implement a version of his travel ban targeting some majority Muslim countries, his team's past statements on the matter may keep coming back to haunt him.
US District Judge Derrick Watson put an emergency stop on Trump's revised travel ban on Wednesday — just hours before it was scheduled to go into effect.
See reactions to the travel ruling:
Business leaders react to Trump administration's travel ban
Business leaders react to Trump administration's travel ban
Bill Ford and Mark Fields, executive chairman and CEO of Ford
"Respect for all people is a core value of Ford Motor Company, and we are proud of the rich diversity of our company here at home and around the world." - Memo to employees
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO
"Like many of you, I'm concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump ...
"These issues are personal for me even beyond my family. A few years ago, I taught a class at a local middle school where some of my best students were undocumented. They are our future too. We are a nation of immigrants, and we all benefit when the best and brightest from around the world can live, work and contribute here. I hope we find the courage and compassion to bring people together and make this world a better place for everyone."
"The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges.
"Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the US. They've done right,not wrong & don't deserve to be rejected." - Twitter
REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
Tim Cook, Apple CEO
"Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do." - Memo to employees
(Photo credit JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
"This executive order is one we do not support.
"We're a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years.... It's a distinctive competitive advantage for our country—one we should not weaken." - Memo to employees
Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO
"Trump's actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe. A very sad week, and more to come with the lives of over 600,000 Dreamers here in a America under imminent threat. It is time to link arms together to protect American values of freedom and opportunity." - Facebook
Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO
"There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business. "
"Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right and we must stand with those who are affected.
"Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing." - Twitter
Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola CEO
"Coca-Cola Co. is resolute in its commitment to diversity, fairness and inclusion, and we do not support this travel ban or any policy that is contrary to our core values and beliefs." -e-mailed statement
Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO
"As a global company, we depend upon the diverse sources of talent that our teammates represent.
"In view of this, we are closely monitoring the recent refugee- and immigration-related executive order in the United States, and subsequent developments." - Memo to employees
REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS HEADSHOT)
Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO
"Drivers who are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen and live in the U.S. but have left the country, will not be able to return for 90 days. This means they won't be able to earn money and support their families during this period." - Facebook
Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia CEO
"I believe that with this Executive Order, our President has reverted to the short game. The U.S. may be ever so slightly less dangerous as a place to live, but it will certainly be seen as a smaller nation, one that is inward-looking versus forward thinking, reactionary versus visionary." - Memo to employees
2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS TRAVEL)
Jeff Immelt, General Electric CEO
"These employees and customers are critical to our success and they are our friends and partners." - Memo to employees
Trip Advisor CEO Stephen Kaufer
"We need to do more, not less, to help refugees. Trumps action was wrong on humanitarian grounds, legal grounds, and won't make us 'safer.' " - Twitter
(Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW)
Salesforce CEO Vala Afshar
Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO
"40% of Fortune 500 founded by immigrants or their children. All ethnicities should have access to opportunity -- founding principle of U.S." - Twitter
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff
"When we close our hearts & stop loving other people as ourselves (MK 12:31) we forget who we truly are---a light unto the nations. #noban" - Twitter
(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
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In his opinion, Watson centers on the historical background and the context of the executive order. "The record before this Court is unique," said Watson in his opinion. "It includes significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus driving the promulgation of the Executive Order and its related predecessor."
"The illogic of the Government's contentions is palpable," Watson added.
He offered the following example from CNN's television broadcast of an interview between Anderson Cooper and Trump last year:
"In March 2016, Mr. Trump said, during an interview, 'I think Islam hates us.' Mr. Trump was asked, 'Is there a war between the West and radical Islam, or between the West and Islam itself?'
He replied: 'It's very hard to separate. Because you don't know who's who.'
In that same interview, Mr. Trump stated: 'But there's a tremendous hatred. And we have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful. And we can't allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States. . . [a]nd of people that are not Muslim.'"
The judge included an excerpt from an interview with NBC's Meet the Press from October the same year:
"Your running mate said this week that the Muslim ban is no longer your position. Is that correct? And if it is, was it a mistake to have a religious test?"
Mr. Trump replied: "The Muslim ban is something that in some form has morphed into a[n] extreme vetting from certain areas of the world." When asked to clarify whether "the Muslim ban still stands," Mr. Trump said, "It's called extreme vetting."
In response to the revised travel ban that replaced the first executive order — which was slapped down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February — Watson argued in his ruling that the White House intended to prioritize religion above secularism with its travel ban, citing statements from an adviser to Trump:
"... the President's Senior Adviser, Stephen Miller, stated, 'Fundamentally ... you're still going to have the same basic policy outcome [as the first].'
These plainly-worded statements, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order's stated secular purpose.
Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude, as does the Court ... that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, 'secondary to a religious objective' of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims."
Advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union echoed Judge Watson's sentiments in a statement released after the ruling:
"We are pleased but not surprised by this latest development and will continue working to ensure the Muslim ban never takes effect," the ACLU tweeted, moments after the verdict.