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Ninth Circuit Allows Partial Implementation of Trump Travel Ban

Parts of the Trump administration’s proposed travel ban have passed a federal appeals court in California, reinstating a temporary immigration ban against travelers from Muslim-majority countries, keeping them from entering the United States. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, composed of a three-judge panel, countered an earlier lower court ruling that put the travel ban covering travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen on hold.

The Trump administration has made several attempts to enact a travel ban against Muslim-majority countries as well as nations considered a threat to national security. Its third iteration was issued in September, blocking travel from 11 different countries. But the State of Hawaii was quick to block the executive order, challenging it in court. Honolulu District Judge Derrick Watson presided the case against what he called a “prejudiced” travel ban, issuing a preliminary injunction that barred the ban from full enactment.

Neither Watson’s injunction nor the appellate ruling affect people from North Korea and Venezuela.

In addition, the appellate panel would still allow “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The appellate court reiterated that this would include cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings-in-law.

Commenting on the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin said in a statement, “Today’s decision closely tracks guidance previously issued by the Supreme Court. I’m pleased that family ties to the US, including grandparents, will be respected.”

Lauren Ehrsam, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice, celebrated the federal court’s decision. “We are reviewing the court’s order and the government will begin enforcing the travel proclamation consistent with the partial stay. We believe that the proclamation should be allowed to take effect in its entirety,” she said in a statement.

Previous versions of Trump’s travel ban have been heavily scrutinized from all angles. In October, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang also issued an injunction against the ban. Chuang’s decision, however, barred fewer provisions than Watson’s, prohibiting the administration from enforcing the ban on those with “bona fide” ties in the US.

Chuang cited the President’s tweets on the matter, highlighting that these implied the prejudicial basis of the ban, calling it an “inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban,” confident that that sentiment would render the executive order unconstitutional.

The travel ban in its current state requires the judicial go-signal of both the Fourth and Ninth circuits. An appeal will be heard at the Fourth Circuit on December 8 and at the Ninth Circuit on December 6.

For more immigration news and updates, be sure to follow this blog. If you, or a loved one, are affected by the travel ban 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.

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