The Trump travel ban refers to a series of official executive orders enacted by President Donald Trump in early January. First, President Executive Order 13769 imposed stricter rules on entry into the country for citizens of the seven-nation “Muslim ban” list. These included banning citizens of Egypt, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen, as well as anyone from Syria indefinitely.
The second executive order signed on January 27 imposes stricter rules on the entry of travelers from those countries covered by the first travel ban. For example, it bans all refugees and immigrants from Syria indefinitely and bars all immigrants from Iraq.
In March, the Supreme Court invalidated part of President Trump's first travel ban on June 30. That ruling prohibited him from excluding people from the US based solely on their nationality, race or religion.
Then, on July 8, the Supreme Court partially reinstated parts of the original travel ban. It allowed people with valid visas to come to the US. Those who are already in the country but cannot legally reenter the country can do so through an unapproved immigration process. In addition, the court ordered the government to give the public 60 days' notice before it begins enforcing the new travel restrictions.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has implemented the second travel restrictions with no legal authority to do so. Instead, the administration is using the pretext of terrorism as a justification to implement the ban. According to court rulings, the government cannot bar people from flying to or within the US based on their nationality and cannot stop people from entering the country based solely on their religion.
The third travel restrictions were enacted on August 24. It bans all immigrants from Syria and blocks all refugee admissions for 120 days. Again, according to court rulings, the order does not provide the basis or mechanism for this ban.
Now that the appeals courts have lifted a part of President Trump's first travel ban, is there still any hope of stopping him from instituting a new one? Not really. The president has the power to put in place whatever restrictions he likes, but it may take months and years for the courts to make up their minds.
If the courts find that the first travel ban was enacted for improper reasons, they will soon reinstate it. Unless this time around, the courts will uphold the president's authority to impose the ban.
A number of lawsuits are in the pipeline to challenge President Trump's new travel ban. One lawsuit is filed by a Muslim advocacy group, the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Another suit is filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which contends that the ban violates the First Amendment. The Justice Department has yet to file its own suit.
There are other lawsuits challenging the ban as well, but none are expected to succeed. The National Immigration Law Center filed a suit on behalf of two Iraqi nationals. The American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of several others, is challenging the ban on behalf of green card holders.
Meanwhile, on top of the lawsuits, many members of Congress are calling on the president to refrain from implementing the new travel ban, while Congress considers their own immigration legislation. On Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the ban “flies in the face of American values,” adding, “A complete shutdown of our nation's government could be just around the corner.”
Meanwhile, on the House side, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has asked Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to investigate the effect the travel ban has had on the nation's security and “identify areas in which the executive order can be improved.” Rep. Joe Wilson shouted “you liar!” at the secretary of homeland security in response to his request, making headlines across the country.
And the Department of State said in a statement that the ban is “unlawful, discriminatory, and contrary to our laws.” But it also said that the new restrictions will “provide the United States the ability to screen out individuals who intend to commit acts of terror against Americans.” It does not indicate a change in our stance towards terrorism.