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  • Article: Travel Ban 2.0 Halted by Two District Judges By Wendy Feliz For Immigration Impact

    Travel Ban 2.0 Halted by Two District Judges


    The Trump administration has failed in its attempt to rewrite the executive order banning individuals from targeted Muslim-majority nations in order to pass legal muster. On the eve of the new order taking effect, two district judges have shut it down.

    The first nationwide order was issued by a district court in Hawaii on Wednesday evening. It halted the 90-day Muslim entry ban for nationals of six countries, the 120-day world-wide refugee entry ban, and the significant reduction in the number of refugees who will be permitted to resettle in the United States in 2017. The court stated that it will not stay its order in the event the government files an emergency appeal.

    District Court Judge Watson in Hawaii cited the discriminatory nature of the ban in his decision.

    “Equally flawed is the notion that the Executive Order cannot be found to have targeted Islam because it applies to all individuals in the six referenced countries. It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7% to 99.8%.”

    “It would therefore be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam. Certainly, it would be inappropriate to conclude, as the Government does, that it does not.”

    “When considered alongside the constitutional injuries and harms … and the questionable evidence supporting the Government’s national security motivations, the balance of equities and public interests justify granting the Plaintiffs’ (request to block the new order).”

    After Hawaii, a Maryland district court on the same evening also issued a nationwide injunction. This ruling temporarily halted the section of the second travel ban that suspended the issuance of visas to nationals of the six countries. In particular, the Maryland court stated:

    “[i]n this highly unique case, the record provides strong indications that the national security purpose is not the primary purpose for the travel ban,” but that instead, the evidence suggested that it was an attempt to ban Muslims from entering.

    Two other cases are pending before a district court in Washington.

    The first is Washington v. Trump, which originally was filed by Washington and Minnesota. An amended complaint has been filed which adds California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon. On March 15, the court held a hearing to decide whether the nationwide injunction stopping the first travel ban, which it issued in the states’ case in early February, should remain in place to halt the second ban.

    Additionally, the same judge on the same day held a hearing on a request for an emergency order halting the second travel ban in Ali v. Trump, a class action brought on behalf of immigrant visa applicants by the American Immigration Council, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

    There is no doubt that the legal battle over the Muslim ban will continue. However, the Trump administration has failed to convince judges that this policy is anything but blatant discrimination.

    This post originally appeared on Immigration Impact. © 2017 Immigration Impact. All rights reserved.

    About The Author

    Wendy Feliz is the Director of Communications at the American Immigration Council. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Feliz served as Director of Development at New America Media, after having worked at the Open Society Institute, and public radio station WAMU 88.5 as the Manager of Foundation Relations and Public Information. Ms. Feliz has spent much of her career in the non-profit world including with The California Hispanic Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in East Los Angeles and The Young Adult Institute and Latino Worker’s Center in New York City. Ms. Feliz received her M.A. in Public Communication from the American University in Washington D.C. and she holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New School University in New York.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      Wendy, the 9th circuit cases are ignoring clear precedents with these decisions. See Judges v. Trump: Be Careful What You Wish For, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/15/o...f=opinion&_r=2

      Nolan Rappaport
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      I fail to see why Nolan Rappaport thinks that Eric Posner's New York Times article supports a view that the courts should turn a blind eye to Trump's bullying and obvious bad faith in deliberately misrepresenting the clearly discriminatory purpose of the Muslim ban orders before the federal courts. Posner writes that Trump, by his conduct with respect ot the ban orders, has "lost the trust" of the federal courts. I would put it a little more bluntly:

      Trump has, very arguably, acted with clearly fraudulent intent in pretending to a variety of federal judges that the purpose of the Muslim ban orders was to protect America's national security, rather than to promote hatred and discrimination against Muslims in general, including 3 or 4 million American citizen Muslims who are entitled to the full protection of the Constitution against religious discrimination, even if one accepts the argument, dating back to the dark days of the Chinese exclusion laws, that foreign citizens seeking to enter the US have no such protection.

      In addition to engaging in what might very arguably be termed fraud upon the court if perpetrated by a private litigant, Trump has followed this up with his usual bullying and intimidating tactics, including personal attacks on judges who disagree with him, which have now drawn the strongest possible condemnation of five 9th Circuit judges even though they agree with Trump's view of the law relating to limits of judicial power over immigration in general. This is one of the most remarkable judicial opinions in all of our immigration law history, and it illustrates the acute danger that America's institutions, including not only our courts, but our democracy itself, face in Donald Trump's America.

      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
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