Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban
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The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce its revised ban on people from eight nations from travelling to the country. The third iteration of the travel ban — after the first two were blocked by the judiciary — has been partially in force already.
The SC order has not explained the reasons for its decision but nudged the lower courts that are hearing the arguments on the merit of the case to move faster. Two appeals courts are expected to hear arguments in separate cases, challenging the ban this week. President Donald Trump’s decision has been challenged on questions such as his legal authority to issue such an order and whether it constitutes a religious test and a Muslim ban, as promised by Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Trump administration has argued before the courts that the travel ban is for national security.
Six of the eight countries barred by the order are majority-Muslim — Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia. North Korea and Venezuela are the other two. The SC order, supported by seven of the nine judges, increases the chances of the administration winning the case on merit as and when it reaches the highest court.
Restrictions on travel by people from these eight countries vary in their details. Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii had partially blocked the restrictions, allowing people from these countries who can establish a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S. to travel. The courts included grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of people already in the U.S. in this category and students who have secured admissions. Such people will also be barred, with the latest SC order.
The Trump administration and his campaign have hailed the court order as a victory for the President’s position.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is challenging the travel ban in court, said in a statement that it will be arguing for the complete striking down of the order, in the Fourth Circuit appeals court on Friday. “It’s unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims,” Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement.
“President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret. He has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter,” he said, referring to the President retweeting a anti-Muslim videos posted by a British nationalist.
The Trump administration has argued that “extensive worldwide review process” preceded the travel ban and the third order is different from the previous versions. It also pointed out that non-Muslim countries are on the list and allegations of a religious test were unfounded.
The SC order amounted to “handing our sovereignty back to the United States of America”, said an email from a campaign authorised by the President, to supporters. “This massive victory for American security comes just after President Trump boldly withdrew our country from the UN’s dangerous, irresponsible Global Compact on Migration,” it said.
Trump vs. the judiciary
Three versions of U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban had been successfully blocked by the courts till Monday.
Jan. 27, 2017: Trump signs executive order, “protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States”, sparking chaos and outrage across the world
Countries targeted: The order closed the U.S. border to citizens of seven countries - Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Somalia and Iraq - for three months, and to all refugees for four months
Feb. 3: Federal judge in Seattle blocks the ban's enforcement
Feb. 9: Appeals court in San Francisco upholds the suspension
March 6: The President signs a second version of the ban, forbidding travellers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Iraq is removed from the list.
March 16: A judge in Hawaii, blocks the second version of the ban. A Maryland judge makes a similar decision, and says the text is discriminatory against Muslims
May 25: An appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, upholds the suspension of the second version
June 26: Supreme Court rules in favour of partially enforcing the ban upon travellers “who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States”
Sept. 24: Trump signs a third executive order, permanently prohibiting citizens from five of the countries named earlier, plus North Korea, Chad and Venezuela. Sudan removed from the list
October 17: A federal judge from Hawaii blocks the third version of the ban.
Nov. 13: A San Francisco appeals court authorises limited implementation of the order
Dec. 4: The Supreme Court authorises full enforcement of the travel ban's third version pending appeal.
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