Trump travel ban suffers new court defeat

People protest outside as the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear arguments on President Trump's revised travel ban in Seattle, Washington, on May 15, 2017.

A U.S appeals court has upheld a decision blocking President Trump’s revised “travel ban” on people from six mainly Muslim nations.

A lower court had issued the injunction on the grounds that the ban was discriminatory after a challenge by the state of Hawaii.

The 90-day ban was to apply to people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

It also called for a 120-day ban on all refugees.

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was reviewing a March ruling by a Hawaii-based federal judge that blocked parts of Mr. Trump’s order.

In their ruling, the judges said that “immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show”.

They said Mr. Trump had failed to show that the entry of people from the six countries mentioned in the ban, as well as the refugees, would be detrimental to US interests.

But the judges said the government was allowed to review the vetting process for people entering the US – something the earlier Hawaii ruling had blocked.

The administration has said the travel ban is needed to prevent terrorism in the US.

The latest ruling follows another ruling in May by a different court, the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, that upheld a Maryland judge’s ruling that also blocked parts of Mr. Trump’s revised ban.

Earlier this month the Trump administration filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court to block the Hawaii and Maryland rulings and revive the ban.

Lawyers for Hawaii had described Mr. Trump’s executive order as a “thinly veiled Muslim ban”.

The Supreme Court will decide whether Mr. Trump’s comments during his election campaign can be used as evidence that the executive order was intended to discriminate against Muslims, which would be against the US constitution.

During his election campaign, Mr. Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.

An earlier version of Mr. Trump’s travel ban, issued in January, sparked confusion and protests and was blocked by a judge in Seattle because it probably violated the due process rights of individuals with valid residency papers and visas.

 

Zainab Sa’id