Appellate Court Tackles Second Trump Travel Ban

On May 15th, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will be hearing argument for and against Trump’s second executive order restricting travel from certain countries. 

Donald Trump’s first attempt at an executive order banning travel from six predominately Muslim countries created chaos at airports across the U.S. and in several other countries. Even permanent legal residents and allies of the U.S. military who had been granted refugee status found themselves stranded at airports or forced to return to their home countries.

Immigration attorneys, human rights organizations and other legal professionals around the country responded swiftly, and the Trump administration was forced back to the drawing board, resulting in this second travel ban.

Differences Between the First and Second Trump Travel Bans

The second travel ban, while still onerous and discriminatory, addresses some of the most critical problems with the original order.

The Second Travel Ban Did Not Take Effect Immediately

One reason for the chaos created by the first travel ban was that it took effect immediately, with no time for foreign nationals to adjust travel plans, seek advice from immigration lawyers or clarify whether they were subject to the ban.  The second travel ban was to take effect ten days after it was issued.  This delay provided a window in which the legality of the order could be challenged before travelers were en route.

The Second Travel Ban Does Not Include Iraq

The first travel ban prohibited most people whose country of origin was Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen from entering the U.S. for a period of 90 days. The second travel ban omits Iraq, while applying restrictions to the remaining six countries listed in the original order.

The Second Travel Ban Does Not Apply to Green Card Holders

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the first travel ban was that dual citizens and permanent legal residents were included in the ban. Thus, many people who had long ago established legal residence in the United States, but who happened to be outside the country at the time the order was entered, found themselves prohibited from returning to their homes, jobs and families. The second travel ban does not apply to those holding dual citizenship or with green cards.

Carryovers from the First Travel Ban

Like the first travel ban, the second travel ban restricts entry to those originating from listed countries for a period of 90 days and for a period of 120 days for refugees.  However, unlike the first travel ban that indefinitely banned Syrian refugees from entry, the second one only bans Syrian refugees for a period of 120 days.

Legal Challenges to the Revised Travel Ban

Although the second travel ban drew less attention and fewer crowds than the first, the legal community was just as quick to respond. Despite the administration’s efforts to create a version of the order that would withstand legal challenge, a Hawai’i court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the order from taking effect nationwide.  It determined that it was likely the travel ban would be proven to be an unconstitutional restriction on religious freedom and that Trump’s public statements support the claim that the travel ban is specifically intended to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S.   Just hours later, a Maryland court also entered an order enjoining enforcement of key provisions of the order.

Advocates from across the country and around the world continue to push back against the Trump administration’s efforts to bar millions of people from the United States based on country of origin. Opponents include everyone from attorneys and human rights organizations to the tech companies.

After hearing both sides of the arguments, I am hopeful that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule strike down the travel ban. Check back for updates as the case progresses.

The Alagiri Immigration Law Firm helps people with U.S. immigration matters. For more information, call (650) 931-2509, email info@alagirilaw.com or fill out the contact form on this site.

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