Trump's travel ban in chaos as it is blocked by federal judge and new figures show more Muslims than Christians are entering US

Activists gather at Terry Shrunk Plaza to protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban in Portland, Oregon, US on January 30, 2017.Reuters

Donald Trump's 'travel ban' was in disarray today after a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the new version and it emerged that more Muslims than Christians have entered the US since Trump took office.

Hours before the latest executive order was due to take effect at midnight tonight, the US District Judge Derrick Watson cited 'questionable evidence' and 'palpable' illogic in the government's argument that the ban was a matter of national security.

Meanwhile, new figures show that including refugees from countries with no travel restrictions, a total of 7,594 refugees have entered the US during Trump's first seven weeks in office (January 21 to March 10). Of these refugees, 3,410 are Muslims (45 per cent) and 3,292 are Christians (43 per cent), with those of other religions or none accounting for the rest.

A total of 2,466 refugees from the remaining six countries on his 'travel ban' have resettled in the US since Trump became president.

The refugees are from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The number of refugees from the six travel-restricted countries represents 32 per cent of all refugees who have entered the US since Trump took office, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of US State Department data

Earlier this month, Trump was forced to water down his travel ban, including by removing a clause which appeared to give priority to Christians.

The ban on travel, migration and asylum from what was previously seven Muslim-majority countries now excludes Iraq from the list of countries affected.

A section was removed from the original order stating that some refugee claims could be prioritised 'on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality'. This was interpreted as giving Christians priority when it came to travelling to the US.

The new ban will last for 90 days and, unlike the last one signed on 27 January, does not apply to those with valid visas.

Further, the order does not suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely, but they are subject to the new order's blanket ban of resettling refugees for 120 days.

The Pew research shows that during the first full week of Trump's presidency (January 21-27), 687 refugees from the six restricted countries entered the US, accounting for 34 per cent of all refugee admissions that week.

The following week, after Trump's initial travel ban, refugee admissions from the six restricted countries all but stopped.

Refugee intake then resumed shortly after a federal judge in Washington suspended parts of the order on 3 February and lifted the travel restrictions, a decision that was upheld by a federal appeals court.

Of the six countries identified in the order, Syria (5,585), Somalia (4,703) and Iran (1,893) are the leading nationalities of refugees who have entered the US so far in the fiscal year of 2017, which began on 1 October, 2016.

A total of 595 refugees from Sudan have entered the US during this time, while 18 refugees are from Yemen and three are from Libya.

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