The Muslim and refugee ban represent the worst of what Donald Trump and his White House stand for. It is a xenophobic, anti-American policy that deserves to be buried and forgotten. Despite initial successes in federal courts that temporarily halted the ban, the ban is still tied up in the courts, with parts of it being allowed to move forward. Here’s what you need to know about the status of the ban.
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Trump Administration’s request for the Court to hear oral arguments in two cases related to the Executive Order that sought to institute the ban. This means the fate of the ban will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court later this year.
The Islamophobic executive order seeks to ban certain refugees and nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Almost immediately after Trump issued the order, most of its provisions were blocked by multiple federal courts. However, in its June 26th decision, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on the ban in the fall and, in a sharp departure from the position taken by federal courts to date, agreed to allow part of the ban to move forward.
On July 13 a federal court judge in Hawaii ruled that the Trump Administration overstepped in its interpretation of the Supreme Court’s decision. And, on July 19, the Supreme Court agreed with the Hawaii judge.
What exactly did the Supreme Court decide on June 26?
The Supreme Court is allowing the government to ban for 90 days the entry of any national from any of six countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—if the person cannot credibly claim a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” It also allowed all refugees to be banned from entering the U.S. unless they can prove a similar tie to a person or entity in the U.S.
Bona fide are just fancy lawyer words that mean “genuine.” In other words, the government has been allowed to ban persons from those six countries unless they can prove they have a “genuine” connection to someone or some institution in the U.S.
Let’s not sugarcoat it: allowing any aspect of the ban to be enforced is un-American, and contradicts multiple rulings by federal courts which found that the ban is unconstitutional. In their decisions, the courts cited Trump’s own inflammatory, anti-Muslim tweets and other public statements as evidence that the ban was motivated not by national security interests, but by bias against and intolerance of Muslims.
The Supreme Court’s decision allowing parts of the ban, grants the Trump Administration an opening to create more anti-Muslim policies and promote its Islamophobic agenda.
Americans’ opposition to the Muslim ban is clear. We have taken to the streets; we’ve marched on Washington, to our city halls, and to our nation’s airports. We must continue the fight. As we prepare to fight in the courts this fall, we must remain vigilant and committed to battling the Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment that motivated the ban.
Although the fight over the Muslim ban has focused on the actions of the executive and judicial branches, Congress has several options available to act as a check on Trump’s unconstitutional actions:
- Tell your House Representative to co-sponsor H.R.1503 (the SOLVE Act) to rescind the Muslim Ban and prohibit any funding for enforcement of the Muslim Ban.
- Tell your Senators to co-sponsor S. 608, which would rescind the Muslim Ban, and S. 549, which would withhold funding for the Muslim Ban and declare it illegal under the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) and unconstitutional for violating Establishment Clause.