This past Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court approved President Trump's third travel ban allowing it to be fully enforced. The travel ban will impact travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and two non-muslim countries. Trump's administration has been pushing for this ban from the beginning of the year.
The high court ruled 7-2, making it a definite go. The ban means that the United States can refuse entry visas to citizens from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, and additionally Venezuela and North Korea. An exception would be made in the case that the traveler has "bona finde" links inside the U.S., for example, the traveler has documented business or close family bonds.
It should be noted that although the ban has been accepted, it does not mean that it will be made constitutional. It is expected that the high courts evaluate the ban on its merits. According to the Guardian, the courts are meant to assess the ban in the coming months and "observe if it violates constitutional protections gains discrimination."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a written statement, "We are pleased to have defended this order and heartened that a clear majority Supreme Court has allowed the President's lawful proclamation protecting our country's national security to go into full effect." Jeff Sessions adds, "The constitution gives the President the responsibility and power to protect this country from all threats foreign and domestic, and this order remains vital to accomplishing those goals."
Travel Ban, widely criticized
The travel ban has generated controversy and many have expressed their disagreement. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg objected to the ruling. While Jeff Sessions called the ruling a "substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people," several terrorism scholars have expressed that the research to support the travel ban is based on misleading data.
The director of the ACLU's Immigrant's Rights Project, Omar Jadwat, commented on the Supreme Court's actions. According to the Washington Post, Jadwat said, "President Trump's anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret-he has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter." He added that they will continue to work and stand for freedom and equality.
Another organization released an official statement to condemn the ruling. The Center for Constitutional Rights said, "We will not allow this to become the new normal," adding that, "whatever the courts say, the Muslim ban is inhumane and discriminatory. We must continue to demonstrate that we reject and will resist the politics of fear, anti-Muslim racism, and white supremacy."
The Trump administration has repeatedly denied that the ban discriminates based on religion. The first ban was rushed and rolled out early in January but was blocked by lower courts. Those who have challenged the ban have argued that it is a discriminatory ban that comes from Trump's desire to stop Muslims from entering the country.
Lawyers, advocates, and organizations will continue to challenge the travel ban. In the meantime, the Supreme court will evaluate its development in the coming months.