Trump’s Travel Ban Has Been Blocked Again & Immigration Advocates Are Elated
President Trump's proposed travel bans have been legally challenged from the very beginning, and the latest iteration is no different. On Tuesday, a federal district court blocked Trump's third travel ban, which was issued Sept. 24. Hawaiian Judge Derrick Watson ruled that the order “makes no finding that nationality alone renders entry of this broad class of individuals a heightened security risk to the United States.”
The new executive order expanded on the previous bans to bar travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea, and Venezuela from entering the United States. According to Judge Watson, the order “plainly discriminates based on nationality.” It was supposed to go into effect Wednesday morning, but is now on hold nationwide.
Immigrant rights advocates were glad to see the ban blocked, but weren't exactly shocked considering each attempt has received major pushback. The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted: "We're glad but not surprised, to be honest."
The National Immigration Law Center mimicked the sentiment. Justin Cox, an NILC staff attorney working on the International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump case, tells Bustle the temporary restraining order wasn't a surprise "given that the administration hasn’t really seemed to learn its lesson from the rounds of prior litigation."
Cox adds, "We all could see the ways this latest [ban] was unlawful, as well."
A federal court in Hawaii has temporarily blocked President Trump’s newest Muslim ban. We're glad but not surprised, to be honest. https://t.co/eaePTM1sgV— ACLU (@ACLU) October 17, 2017
Although the decision was somewhat expected, immigrant advocates are still celebrating cautiously. "The whole path has been kind of unpredictable. But one thing is for sure — any time an obstacle is in place, the Trump administration keeps pushing forward," Elizabeth Beavers, Indivisible policy manager, tells Bustle.
As for why Indivisible, a project that tries to "resist Trump’s agenda by empowering local activist groups," will continue fighting for #NoMuslimBanEver: "It's counter to our American values, and at its root is just another extension of Trump’s white supremacist agenda," Beavers says.
Immigrant rights' organizations have been fighting the president's travel bans all year (the first order was signed Jan. 27), but each new proposal is only slightly different from its predecessor. Although the latest ban also bars people from North Korea and Venezuela from the United States, travel ban opponents still see it as a an attempt to keep Muslims from entering the country. So, they aren't backing down.
Steve Choi, the New York Immigration Coalition executive director, says in a statement sent to Bustle that the temporary restraining order on "Muslim Ban 3.0" confirms "that it is un-American to discriminate against people based on race or religion." He adds, "We will not make this country safer or greater by defying the founding principles on which it was built: liberty and justice for all."
The Supreme Court was supposed to hear arguments on the travel ban that preceded the one blocked Tuesday, but removed the case from its calendar when President Trump issued a different iteration and asked the parties to file additional briefs.
Lena Masri, Council on American-Islamic Relations national litigation director, noted in a Facebook post that the temporary restraining order will only last for 14 days unless further action is taken. So on Wednesday, CAIR, the ACLU, NYIC, Indivisible, and other organizations advocating for immigrants' rights will still hold planned #NoMuslimBanEver rallies outside the White House and throughout the country. (You can find a rally near you on the #NoMuslimBanEver website if you want to participate.)
#NoMuslimBanEver supporters, Masri explained in the Facebook post, are calling on President Trump to abandon every iteration of the travel ban.
She says, "President Trump should do the right thing and withdraw his latest Muslim ban, which represents nothing more than an irrational, illegal and unconstitutional attempt to fulfill a bigoted campaign pledge."