The Supreme Court has allowed the Trump administration to fully implement its revised travel ban, effectively blocking citizens from Iran, Libya, Chad, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, North Korea, and Venezuela from traveling and immigrating to the United States. The terse ruling comes at a time when lower courts are still hearing legal challenges over the constitutionality of the ban.
The travel ban has gone through several revisions as each iteration was put down by challenges in lower courts across the country. These were successful for a time as district judges issued injunctions against the ban from being fully implemented. But the high court has decided to side with the administration, which had requested a lifting of the lower courts’ rulings preventing full enforcement of the ban.
Criticism of the ban comes from the choice of affected countries. Among the eight, six are Muslim-majority countries, which critics say reflects the largely bigoted and anti-Muslim direction the Trump administration has taken with its recent slew of immigration policies.
The 9th and 4th circuits were scheduled to hear arguments in separate cases challenging the ban this week, but the Supreme Court came out with its abrupt and sparsely-worded ruling, which included an order for lower courts to lift their respective rulings to put the travel ban on hold. The justices expect lower appeals courts to decide on the pending cases with appropriate dispatch.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision, which “allowed president’s lawful proclamation protecting our country’s national security to go into full effect.” Sessions also noted that the ruling is a victory for the safety and security of the American people.
A White House spokesperson issued a statement in response to the high court ruling, stating: “The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts.”
Not surprisingly, the decision has drawn swift condemnation from immigration rights advocates, who maintain their interpretation of the travel ban’s underlying discriminatory intent. Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s (American Civil Rights Union) Immigrants’ Rights Project, said that the prejudicial sentiment behind the ban is neither implied nor covert, pointing to President Trump’s supposed anti-Muslim prejudice.
President Trump’s anti-immigration stance was central to his campaign for the presidency. Immediately after taking office, he promised to impose “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The President has also set his sights on the U.S. and Mexico border, promising to construct a billion-dollar wall and sending the bill to Mexico.
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.