The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled per curiam on Friday that the third iteration of President Trump’s travel and immigration ban on Muslim-majority countries is illegal despite a recent Supreme Court ruling that concludes otherwise.
The three-judge panel from the federal appeals court unanimously decided that in issuing the travel ban, believed to be prejudicially targeting over 150 million individuals from predominantly Muslim countries, Trump had gone beyond the limits of his power as President of the United States.
The judges supplement their decision with a jab at the Trump administration’s inability to produce a “legally sufficient” finding that proves travel from any of the countries listed in the ban would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
According to the panel, Trump’s executive order—now in its third iteration after the judiciary branch rejected each preceding one—fails because it does not meet a crucial requirement Congress attached to his authority to suspend travel: the president must provide legally sufficient evidence that allowing a specific person or group of people into the country would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
The same court recently limited a Honolulu-based federal judge’s injunction against the ban, claiming that the ban need not be enforced on foreign nationals who can provide a verifiable “bona fide relationship” to an entity or person in the United States.
“Bona fide relationships,” as they were defined, would even later expand to include relatives beyond the nuclear family namely grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and the like, as well as ties with an academic institution or corporation.
The Supreme Court, however, released an abrupt and sparsely elaborated ruling that would allow the travel ban, with all its provisions, to go into full effect regardless of the legal battles over the ban that were ongoing in lower courts.
This third version of the Trump travel ban was issued in September after two previous iterations failed to withstand legal scrutiny and were overturned by federal courts. The ban in its current, Supreme Court-approved form bans travel from Muslim-majority countries Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen as well as North Korea and Venezuela.
Criticism of the travel ban primarily revolves around President Trump’s choice of countries. Critics claim that the ban is part of Trump’s anti-Muslim agenda, foreshadowed by his campaign promise to impose “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and complementing the indiscreet anti-Muslim sentiment his social media has come to be known for.
Despite the White House’s assurances of an unprejudiced rationale behind the ban, deputy legal director of the national American Civil Liberties Union Cecilia Wang, points out that president is on record for making hostile and incendiary statements against immigrants and most notably, Muslims.
For more immigration news and updates on the travel ban, be sure to follow this blog. If you, or a loved one, are affected by this latest ruling and want to know what your options are, schedule a consultation with the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today to learn more about how Austin immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle can help you.