Oh, that pesky travel ban – The Administration keeps trying to push it through, but they keep failing. Last week, two judges (in Hawaii and Maryland) issued restraining orders against the newest travel ban from going fully into effect.
What Did Travel Ban 3.0 Look Like?
For the most part, the travel ban limited anyone from the below countries from coming to the United States as a new lawful permanent resident (immigrant visa) or as a tourist (B1/B2 visa).
|Country||Who Was Banned|
|Chad||Immigrant visas and tourist visas|
|Iran||Immigrant visas and all non-immigrant visas except for students (F, J, M visas)|
|Libya||Immigrant visas and tourist visas|
|North Korea||All visas – immigrant and non-immigrant|
|Somalia||Only immigrant visas|
|Syria||All visas – immigrant and non-immigrant|
|Venezuela||Only tourist visas for some government officials and their immediate family|
|Yemen||Immigrant visas and tourist visas|
The ban was set to go fully into effect on October 18th and it would have required people who were “banned” to show a bona fide relationship with a U.S. citizen in order to request a waiver.
It’s my personal opinion that North Korea was added to this list to keep it from looking like a “Muslim Ban.” No one was visiting the United States from North Korea. The small sliver of people from Venezuela that would have been denied entry was also a red herring – designed to make it look as though the government wasn’t focusing on one religion. In practical purposes, though, the vast majority of people impacted by Travel Ban 3.0 (99%) would have been from Muslim-majority countries.
What Did the Federal Judges Do?
In Hawaii, the judge found that Travel Ban 3.0 discriminated against people because of their nationality, which is unconstitutional. Judge Watson issued a preliminary restraining order and the government said it would appeal.
The next day, a federal judge in Maryland found that Travel Ban 3.0 discriminated against Muslims. He looked at President Trump’s statements from the campaign and found that the goal was to discriminate, not to increase national security, as was argued by the government.
What About the U.S. Supreme Court?
The Supreme Court was going to hear about Travel Ban 2.0 earlier this month, but they canceled that hearing. Parts of that ban had either expired or were about to expire so the argument regarding that ban was considered moot.
Travel Ban 3.0 doesn’t have an expiration date like Travel Ban 2.0. It is extremely likely that Travel Ban 3.0 will get to the U.S. Supreme Court for a hearing.
More litigation! For now, immigrants and visitors from the “banned” list are able to obtain visas and come to the United States. We don’t know when this may change or when the Supreme Court may set a hearing date to look at the issues presented. At this moment, nothing has changed – people travel as they did a year ago. But we all wait to see what the next draconian policy will be to come out of the White House.