"As both judges said, the March 6 executive order is clearly a religion-based test and it should be stopped," said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of CLINIC, which is based in the Washington suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland. "The language of this order may differ somewhat from the earlier version -- which was also blocked by several federal courts -- but it is no improvement on the core problem with the ban."
"In the United States, we do not base our laws about who may come here to visit, work or study, let alone who may immigrate, on religious beliefs," she said in a March 16 statement. "There is too much evidence that animus toward Muslims is at the heart of both versions of these travel bans."
In their decisions, Watson and Chuang both pointed to anti-Muslim comments made by Trump during his presidential campaign and such comments made by others associated with Trump as evidence that the ban discriminated against a certain religion.
In her statement, Atkinson said: "We stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters, who would be affected disproportionately by the ban on travel from six predominantly Muslim countries."
Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, said the organization looked forward "to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court." The ACLU was one of the groups that filed suit against the executive order.
Trump's temporary travel ban "has fared miserably in the courts, and for good reason -- it violates fundamental provisions of our Constitution," Jadwat added in a statement.
In her statement, Atkinson said Chuang and Watson were "correct to stop such misguided policies."
"The United States is better than this," she added.