Another appeals court declares Trump travel ban unconstitutional

Advertisement A court says it “second-guesses our nation’s dedication to religious freedom and tolerance” Share Shares Copy Link Copy {copyShortcut} to copy Link copied! Updated: 3:38 PM EST Feb 15, 2018 DENISE LAVOIE AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Supporters surround a group who perform the Islamic midday prayer outside the White House in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, during a rally on the one-year anniversary of the Trump Administration's first partial travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim majority countries. SOURCE: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Another appeals court declares Trump travel ban unconstitutional A court says it “second-guesses our nation’s dedication to religious freedom and tolerance” Share Shares Copy Link Copy {copyShortcut} to copy Link copied! Updated: 3:38 PM EST Feb 15, 2018 DENISE LAVOIE RICHMOND, Va. — President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban on travelers from six largely Muslim countries is “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam,” a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, delivering another blow to the policy.In a 9-4 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said it examined statements made by Trump and other administration officials, as well as the presidential proclamation imposing the ban, and concluded that it “second-guesses our nation’s dedication to religious freedom and tolerance.” Advertisement The 4th Circuit is the second federal appeals court to rule against the ban. In December, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Trump exceeded the scope of his authority with the latest ban.The 4th Circuit court upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland who issued an injunction barring enforcement of the ban against people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who have bona fide Continue Reading

Appeals court declares Trump travel ban unconstitutional

Denise Lavoie, Ap Legal Affairs Writer Updated 4:05 pm, Thursday, February 15, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-3', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 3', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Steve Helber, STF Image 1of/3 CaptionClose Image 1 of 3 Chief Justice Roger L. Gregory of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., was one of 13 justices on the panel.  Chief Justice Roger L. Gregory of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., was one of 13 justices on the panel.  Photo: Steve Helber, STF Image 2 of 3 In this file photo, protesters take part in a No Ban, No Wall rally to support the rights of immigrants and oppose a border wall with Mexico on the steps of the Texas Capitol, in Austin, Texas. In this file photo, protesters take part in a No Ban, No Wall rally to support the rights of immigrants and oppose a border wall with Mexico on the steps of the Texas Capitol, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Eric Gay, AP Image 3 of 3 Appeals court declares Trump travel ban unconstitutional 1 / 3 Back to Gallery RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump's latest travel ban on travelers from six largely Muslim countries is "unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam," a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, delivering another blow to the policy. In a 9-4 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said it examined statements made by Trump and other administration officials, as well as the presidential proclamation imposing the ban, and concluded that it "second-guesses our nation's dedication to religious freedom and Continue Reading

Border agents may have violated court orders while enforcing Trump travel ban

Customs and Border Protection agents were "caught by surprise" by President Trump's original travel ban against majority-Muslim nations and may have violated two separate court orders while implementing it, a government report released Friday concluded.A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General report chronicled the "chaotic" days that followed after Trump signed the travel ban into effect during a ceremony at the Pentagon last Jan. 27. The report found that the ban, which has been the subject of dozens of federal lawsuits and may ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, was confusing from the start.Only two senior Homeland Security officials saw a draft of the travel ban before Trump signed. Most employees only heard about it from media reports in the days leading up to the signing. The report found that Customs and Border Protection leadership received the most detailed account of the upcoming ban, "from Congressional staffers who apparently were better informed."The executive order went into immediate effect the moment Trump signed it, but Homeland Security leadership was caught off guard. John Kelly, the president's chief of staff who was then the secretary of Homeland Security, was traveling at the time of the signing, forcing his deputy to lead a conference call to issue marching orders to his agents around the globe.Even during that conference call, the report found that Homeland Security leadership was still unsure whether the order was in effect, and did not even have a copy of the order.Trump's order wasn't widely circulated to Homeland Security until nearly two hours after he signed it. Even then, the scope of the executive order was a "source of confusion" for Homeland Security leadership.That kicked off what the report dubbed "The Long Weekend" filled with protests at U.S. airports and a slew of lawsuits challenging the ban in federal courts across the country.Border agents began processing incoming travelers at U.S. airports, Continue Reading

Supreme Court allows Trump travel ban to take full effect

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that President Trump's immigration travel ban against six majority-Muslim countries can take full effect while legal challenges against the latest version are still tied up in courts.The high court's identical orders in two challenges to the ban mean that most travelers from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad cannot enter the United States while the cases proceed.Lower courts had exempted more travelers who they said had "bona fide" connections to the United States, such as the grandparents and in-laws of citizens. Those exemptions mirrored ones designed by the Supreme Court in June, when the justices allowed only part of an earlier, temporary travel ban. The new ban, issued in September, is of indefinite length.The orders are a victory for a White House in need of a win days after Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election."Now that the Supreme Court has ordered the lifting of restrictions on this ban, minimum security standards for entry into the United States can be enforced," said Michael Glassner, executive director of Donald J. Trump for President.  By allowing the full travel ban to take effect for now, the justices may be signaling that they are likely to uphold it on the merits at a later date -- an interpretation the American Civil Liberties Union disputed."It's unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims," said Omar Jadwat, who directs the ACLU's immigrants' rights project. "We continue to stand for freedom, equality, and for those who are unfairly being separated from their loved ones." The unsigned orders issued Monday urge two federal appeals courts with oral arguments scheduled later this week to Continue Reading

Trump travel ban: Head back to the airports and bring your protest signs

In a matter of days, the Supreme Court will decide whether President Trump’s latest travel ban can go into effect. Lower courts partly blocked this version and the administration has asked the court to reinstate it in full while the legal process unfolds. The first travel ban drew thousands of ordinary Americans to airports and public squares, wielding signs that said “We are all immigrants,” and chanting “Let them in!”  Those protests fundamentally shaped how everyone — including judges — saw the ban. Yet this latest version has yet to generate the same public outcry.  More: Trump travel ban: Third time's no charm More: Trump travel ban 3 may shatter my family forever — and it's not even needed That's even though the latest ban is in some respects worse than the earlier ones. It blocks some or all people from eight countries, mostly Muslim, from entering the United States. It prevents Americans from reuniting with parents, children, and loved ones, and sends the message that we are closing our doors to the world. But this version has no time limit. It’s indefinite.As a law professor, I teach students to make strong legal arguments. But I also teach them that movements of ordinary people sometimes shape the law as much as, or more than, lawyers’ briefs. If the new travel ban is to be defeated, we can’t rely only on courts.  We must head back to the airports, literally and figuratively.The stakes are high. The outcome of the travel ban litigation will affect not just the ban, but the scale of the administration’s broader assault on immigrants’ rights and communities of color. Given the highly visible legal and public fight over the travel ban, resolution of this issue could operate as a bellwether for other civil rights struggles.The protests to the travel ban have thinned partly Continue Reading

Preparing for new Trump travel ban

SEATTLE - Airport officials and civil rights lawyers around the country are getting ready for President Donald Trump’s new travel ban — mindful of the chaos that accompanied his initial executive order but hopeful the forthcoming version will be rolled out in a more orderly way.The new order was expected as soon as Wednesday. A draft suggested it would target people from the same seven predominantly Muslim countries but would exempt travelers who already have visas to come to the U.S.Since last month’s ban, which courts have put on hold, a section of the international arrivals area at Dulles International Airport outside the nation’s capital has been transformed into a virtual law firm, with legal volunteers ready to greet travelers from affected countries and ask if they saw anyone being detained.Similar efforts are underway at other airports, including Seattle-Tacoma International, where officials have drawn up plans for crowd control after thousands crammed the baggage claim area to protest the original ban.“The plan is to be as ready as possible,” said Lindsay Nash, an immigration law professor at Cardozo School of Law in New York who has been helping prepare emergency petitions on behalf of those who might be detained.Trump’s initial action, issued Jan. 27, temporarily barred citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya from coming to the U.S. and halted acceptance of all refugees. The president said his administration would review vetting procedures amid concerns about terrorism in those seven nations.Protesters flooded U.S. airports that weekend, seeking to free travelers detained by customs officials amid confusion about who could enter the country, including U.S. permanent residents known as green-card holders.Attorneys also challenged the order in court, including officials from Washington state. That lawsuit, which Minnesota joined, resulted in a federal judge temporarily blocking the government Continue Reading

Trump travel ban dealt another blow by Maryland judge

President Trump's temporary travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries was dealt another blow Thursday after a federal judge in Maryland suspended a portion of the ban that prevented visas being issued to nationals of the six countries.The Maryland decision follows a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday, although it is narrower in scope.In the Hawaii ruling, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued a nationwide halt to the ban that would have barred new visas and prevented the admission of new refugees. It was a stinging rebuke of Trump's second attempt to institute the controversial order just hours before it was to take effect.The executive order, signed by Trump on March 6, bars citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days. It includes several changes from the original ban struck down in court. The new order would have removed Iraq from the list.Watson wrote in his ruling that the federal government had not proved the ban was needed to protect the U.S. from terrorists trying to infiltrate the country through legal immigration or the refugee program. He wrote that despite changes made by the White House to the new ban, it clearly violated constitutional protections of religion based on comments made by Trump during his presidential campaign.The Maryland ruling was made by U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang. Like Watson, he determined that Trump's executive order was "the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban" and also pointed to comments made by Trump throughout his campaign.Chuang granted a preliminary injunction on a nationwide basis, but declined to stay the ruling should an emergency appeal be filed.A Judge in Washington state heard arguments on the legal challenges Wednesday and may also issue a ruling Thursday.Watson, who was appointed by President Obama in 2013, issued a temporary restraining order, and Continue Reading

Trump’s travel ban is on the back burner in courts, but it’s still front burner for universities

When news broke of a U.S. travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, an engineering teaching assistant from Iran was in a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee classroom helping a student.His wife of eight years was in Iran with her parents — stuck on the other side of the world in a country affected by the ban. She had left Milwaukee in December to follow the rigorous but routine process for obtaining a student visa so she could join her husband in advancing her education at UWM, rather than living here on a visa for student spouses.While President Donald Trump's travel ban is on the back burner for now, tied up in federal courts, the issue remains front and center for universities and international students such as the Iranian couple at UWM, Mohammad and Shi. Now is when international students accept admissions offers from universities and put down deposits. Uncertainty surrounding any future travel ban, and uneasiness about whether the United States is still a welcoming place for international students, are topmost on their minds, according to national education experts. RELATED:  Milwaukee passes resolution opposing Trump travel ban RELATED:  Trump's refugee ban challenges faith leaders​ RELATED:  Milwaukee protesters decry immigration banMohammad and Shi — whose last names aren't being used for fear that a news interview could jeopardize future visas — spent nearly two months swept up in red tape and anxiety after the president issued his first travel ban in January. The couple feared the travel ban could keep them apart for the three years Mohammad still needed to finish his Ph.D. in engineering at UWM if neither could travel between the U.S. and Iran.Politicians are divided about the wisdom of the ban, but House Speaker Paul Ryan said last month that the revised travel ban — Continue Reading

Other view: Trump travel ban: Third time’s no charm

If Travel Ban 3 were a movie, critics would call it an improvement over the previous two releases but still not very good.Travel Ban 1, you might recall, grew out of candidate Donald Trump's demagogic call for "a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”Premiering soon after Trump took office, the hastily produced original targeted seven Muslim-majority nations, singled out Christian emigrants for special consideration over Muslims, sowed confusion for legal residents returning to the USA, and created havoc at the nation's airports. It quickly ran into trouble in the courts.Travel Ban 2 was an attempt to clean up Travel Ban 1. Legal residents were now clearly exempt. Preferential treatment for  Christians and other non-Muslims was excised. And the list of countries was cut to six. Iraq, perhaps because of its crucial role as a U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was taken off this list.   More: Other view: Time for a travel ban — to North Korea More: Trump cites Jackson pool ruling to defend travel ban Even so, judges struck this version down as well. One chief appellate judge said Travel Ban 2 "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination."The best that can be said about Travel Ban 3 is that it has a better chance of passing constitutional muster. Even if it is constitutional, however, it still appears arbitrary.The latest sequel, rolled out by Trump on Sunday night and scheduled to take effect Oct. 18, places permanent restrictions of varying degrees on travelers from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela.Sudan fell off the list, and three countries — Chad, North Continue Reading

As Trump travel ban goes into effect, lawsuits begin

 President Trump's scaled-back travel ban against six majority-Muslim nations operated without disruptions at airports Friday as opponents challenged its restrictive rules on who is permitted entry into the USA.The American Civil Liberties Union and immigration advocacy groups reported no big problems with the ban, which went into effect Thursday, unlike Trump's first, broader order that left hundreds of travelers from abroad in legal limbo in late January."I am not aware of any refugees being detained as a result of this executive order," Betsy Fisher, policy director for the International Refugee Assistance Project, said Friday. After the Supreme Court allowed the revised ban to go into effect, legal challenges quickly surfaced. Hawaii's attorney general filed a lawsuit late Thursday to force the Trump administration to clarify how it created its list of people who will be banned and those who won't. The concern is that the administration is setting rules that may limit entry more than the Supreme Court intended.In a ruling Monday, the court allowed the administration to enforce its 90-day travel ban against nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, so the government can tighten its screening to keep terrorists from sneaking into the country. The court ordered the administration to allow entry to people from those countries who could prove a "bona fide" relationship with a U.S. person or entity.The State Department concluded that foreigners who have a parent, spouse, fiancée, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling in the USA qualified under that definition. The department said foreigners' grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews did not qualify and would be banned. Read more:The State Department said Thursday that it used a definition of family written into federal law under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Fisher said the administration Continue Reading