The January 27, 2017 Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” banned individuals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for ninety days. The revised Executive Order, issued March 6, 2017, was substantially similar but removed Iraq from the list of affected countries and added certain exemptions. The original Executive Order sparked litigation in federal courts around the country, and many suits are continuing forward to challenge the revised Order.
The January 25, 2017 Executive Order titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of The United States,” which threatens to cut off federal funds from any jurisdiction deemed a “sanctuary jurisdiction,” has also sparked challenges in the courts.
June 12, 2017: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited ruling in the Hawaii v. Trump litigation challenging the Travel Ban, upholding most of the district court’s preliminary injunction of the “travel ban” Executive Order. The court upheld the nationwide injunction of the Executive Order’s travel ban and refugee cap provisions. But the court vacated the injunction as applied to the inter-agency review provisions found in the Executive Order, and the court vacated the preliminary injunction of the President himself.
Unlike the Fourth Circuit, the Ninth Circuit upheld the injunction largely on statutory grounds, holding that the President had exceeded his delegated authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). The court noted that the government had not made a sufficient finding that allowing the entry of foreign nationals from the six designated countries would be harmful to the national interest, as required by the INA. Also, the court held that the Executive Order likely violated the INA’s prohibition on nationality-based discrimination. Finally, the court devoted more than two pages of its opinion to citing amicus briefs that aided its decision.
The opinion also provided proof that the President’s tweets are sabotaging his legal efforts. The court cited one such tweet to distinguish the President’s Order from President Carter’s ban on Iranian nationals during the Iranian hostage crisis and President Reagan’s ban on Cuban nationals in 1986.
Dewan and Associates has been tracking these events to better inform our clients and friends of the ever-changing situation in the administration of the immigration and refugee programs. If anyone has any questions about how this travel ban may affect them, please call us at 212-629-8899.