People, Travel

Trump Travel Ban Facing Critical Month

Trump’s second travel ban has gained more support from his Republican base.Trump’s second travel ban has gained more support from his Republican base.

US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens of six Muslim-majority nations faces its second challenge at a US appeals court next month and this time more Republican states are backing the measure, while one Democratic state attorney general dropped out of the legal fight this week.

Some legal experts say the states’ realignment could signal that the changes made last month to Trump’s original executive order have strengthened the government’s case, Reuters reported.

Sixteen Democratic state attorneys general and the District of Colombia on Thursday filed a “friend of the court” brief backing Hawaii in its bid to block the March 6 executive order, which two federal judges put on hold before it could be implemented. Hawaii and other states argue the ban violates the US Constitution because it discriminates against Muslims.

On the other side, Texas, which had been alone in its support for the original January order, has gained the support of 14 Republican states urging that the ban go forward in a legal brief filed on April 10.

Those states back the government’s argument that the president has wide authority to implement immigration policy and that the ban is needed to prevent terrorist attacks.

The original ban, which Trump said was needed for national security to head off terrorist attacks, applied to seven Muslim-majority nations and indefinitely banned the entry of all refugees from Syria. It was revised and narrowed after a flurry of legal challenges.

Trump’s January order was hastily implemented just days after his inauguration, leading to chaos and protests at airports and more than two dozen lawsuits. A federal judge in Seattle halted the order and the 9th circuit upheld that ruling.

The White House re-crafted the order to exclude legal permanent residents and removed Iraq from the list of targeted countries. Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are still included in the new order.

But as soon as the second order was signed, states and civil rights groups went back to court, saying that it was still discriminatory.

Federal district judges in Maryland and Hawaii put the second order on hold before it could take effect on March 16.  

The judge in Hawaii blocked the two central sections of the ban, on travel and refugees, while the Maryland judge only halted the travel portion.

Most of the focus is now on the Hawaii case, which is being heard by the 9th Circuit on May 15. The 4th Circuit appeals court in Virginia is slated to hear arguments in the Maryland case on May 8.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints