Supreme Court Gives the Go Ahead to Trump Travel Ban


The Trump travel ban was one of the most contentious executive orders of 2017. In December, the U.S. Supreme Court finally allowed the ban to proceed pending more detailed legal challenges.

The justices allowed the third Trump travel ban to take full effect pending appeal.

It was the first time justices allowed the ban to go forward in its entirety. CNN reported the decision indicated the justices might be distinguishing the third version from previous iterations and might be more likely, in the future, to rule in favor of the ban.

The first two bans were derailed in the courts following claims they were discriminatory against Muslims.

The initial Trump travel ban was targeted at seven predominantly Muslim countries.

After President Trump’s first order was blocked in the courts, he signed the second one, imposing a ban on travelers from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. Iraq was removed from the original list. Once again, all of the countries were majority Muslim.

The third travel ban included some non-Muslim majority nations. It banned various types of travelers from Libya, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela.

Lower courts again blocked the third ban issued in the fall of 2017.

The U.S. Supreme Court order was greeted as a significant temporary win for the Trump administration. The ban can be enforced while challenges to the policy make their way through the legal system

The White House has maintained the ban is not discriminatory against Muslims and is in the interests of national security. Solicitor General Noel Francisco stated:

“The Constitution and acts of Congress confer on the President broad authority to prevent aliens abroad from entering this country when he deems it in the nation’s interest.”

The challenges against the travel ban continue on two fronts.

In a case in Hawaii case, a district court judge has blocked the ban as it pertains to Venezuela and North Korea. However, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals partially lifted that court’s order.

The appeals court permitted the ban to go into effect for all individuals from the two counties except for foreign nationals with a “bona fide” relationships with people or entities in the United States.

In a separate challenge in Maryland brought by the International Refugee Assistance Project, a US District Court Judge Theodore D issued a similar order partially enjoining the ban in the case before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ban impacts different counties in slightly different ways, reported ABC news.

In relation to Venezuela, it only applies to the entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and immediate family members who arrive in the U.S. as non-immigrants on business. Tourist and business-tourist visas were also suspended,

In relation to Iran, entry into the country of Iranians as immigrants and as non-immigrants is suspended, except under valid student or exchange visitor visas. Even visa applicants are subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.

If you have been impacted by travel bans or other restrictions, it may make sense to talk to an experienced Austin immigration lawyer. Call us at (512) 399-2311.

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