Trump Administration to Unveil Replacement for Controversial Travel Ban

22 September, 2017, 20:42 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Trump's travel ban set to expire forcing decision on vetting

The second version of Trump's ban, excluding Iraq from the list of Muslim countries signed in March faced more than two dozen lawsuits in U.S. courts, and the 9th Circuit court of Appeals in the state of Washington succeeded in halting the order, arguing it violated constitutional protections against religious discrimination.

The new restrictions would be based on factors such as individual countries' cooperation with United States mandates and the terrorist threat the Trump administration deems each country to pose, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It is not yet clear if these requirements will also be applied against refugees, though the ban on refugee resettlement is not set to expire for another 33 days.

Oral arguments are scheduled to begin on October 10. "You have Muslim-majority countries that are in civil war, you have Muslim-majority countries that have major terrorism problems ..."

"The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific", he tweeted last Friday.

When President Trump signed the original travel ban at the end of his first week in office, he sat flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis. They could require more briefing from both sides, send the case back to lower courts or even declare it moot.

The president's March order was blocked by a series of federal district and appeals courts before the supreme court allowed a limited version to go into effect. At last count, more than 70 groups have weighed in before the court, mostly backing the ban's challengers.

By that time, ironically, the original 90-day ban would have been expired for two months.

Trump declared a political and legal victory and shut down visa issuance for the six countries.

Following the decision, the Trump administration had exempted spouses, parents, children, fiances and siblings from the ban, but it had imposed a ban on the entry of grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws, extended family and grandchildren.

There is still significant uncertainty about the fate of refugees under the travel ban. The justices ruled that travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen could bypass the ban if they could prove they had a "bona fide" relationship with a US person or organization.

Challengers representing travelers who have faced a ban on entry to the USA want the case to proceed, at least for now, said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's immigration rights project, who has argued the case in lower courts.

The new entry restrictions would reportedly vary by country, and could range from additional background checks before people are granted a visa to a total ban for residents of certain countries.

"There's nearly a certainty that the case is going to come back to the court sooner or later", said Kannon Shanmugam, an appellate lawyer and frequent Supreme Court litigator.

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