The Trump Administration’s latest attempt at implementing a travel ban against six mostly Muslim countries has been struck down by federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii. The most recent developments in the quickly-changing landscape of attempts to ban certain foreigners from entering the country.
In January and March of 2017, the White House announced a temporary travel ban against people entering the country from certain middle eastern countries. Lawsuits were brought against the Administration to put a halt to the travel bans, arguing that the ban was unconstitutional and was a pre-text for discriminating against Muslims because of their religion, and that it violated the law since it discriminated against travelers based on national origin. The ban affected anyone from the named countries, including refugees attempting to enter the United States, family members of U.S. citizens who had previously valid family-based petitions, and green card holders or visa-holders who were attempting to re-enter the country at the time the ban was implemented. Both of these bans were struck down by various federal courts. The administration appealed, and oral arguments were to be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court on October 17, 2017.
More Countries Added to the Ban
Yet, before those arguments took place, the administration issued a third travel ban in September 2017. Lawsuits against the ban were filed in various states including Maryland, Hawaii, and Washington state.
The third travel ban included the same countries the administration attempted to ban at the beginning of 2017, plus two more. The countries named in all three travel bans are: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia. Most recently added are Chadd, North Korea, and certain government officials from Venezuela and their family members. At this third attempt, the administration took a new approach and said it was basing travel restriction on a global assessment of how well the countries shared information about potential travelers to the United States.
In October, a federal judge in Hawaii placed a temporary stay on the implementation of this new ban, stating he found that it likely violated federal immigration statutes. The federal judge in Maryland took the ruling a bit further and stated that the ban likely violated not only federal immigration statutes, but it also may be unconstitutional since the ban violated the First Amendment’s prohibition on the government favoring or disfavoring any religion. He issued an indefinite injunction against the ban. The government has argued that the ban is in the interest of national security.
Currently, the travel ban is blocked from being implemented. Opponents are calling upon the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the administration’s attempts to fully enforce the ban.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Protect the Rights of Immigrants and Their Families
The qualified Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can help potential travelers and their U.S.-based family members make decisions as they relate to new and emerging policies. Our office is located in Center City Philadelphia, where we serve clients throughout the surrounding area. Contact us online or call 215-925-4435 to discuss your options today.