Ap­peals court al­lows par­tial en­force­ment of Trump travel ban


SEAT­TLE — On the same day a fed­eral ap­peals court al­lowed part of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s travel ban to take ef­fect, ad­vo­cacy groups filed a new law­suit Mon­day chal­leng­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­lated ef­forts to re­strict or ban cer­tain refugees from en­ter­ing the U.S.

The de­vel­op­ments came as lawyers on both sides of the is­sue are pre­par­ing for yet an­other round of ap­peals court ar­gu­ments next month. They’re the lat­est sign that af­ter nearly 10 months, the bat­tle about the pres­i­dent’s travel re­stric­tions — and whether they rep­re­sent the “Mus­lim ban” he promised dur­ing his cam­paign or a le­git­i­mate ef­fort to im­prove na­tional se­cu­rity — is far from over.

“The pres­i­dent is mak­ing ev­ery ef­fort to im­ple­ment a cam­paign prom­ise that’s un-Amer­i­can and un­con­sti­tu­tional,” said Mark Het­field, pres­i­dent of the refugee sup­port or­ga­ni­za­tion HIAS. “The only way to stop him is through the courts.”

Last month, a fed­eral judge in Hawaii blocked most of Trump’s third travel ban just be­fore it was set to take ef­fect. A judge in Mary­land sep­a­rately blocked it to a lesser de­gree, say­ing Trump could bar peo­ple from six mostly Mus­lim na­tions — Chad, Iran, Libya, So­ma­lia, Syria and Ye­men — as long as they did not have “bona fide” re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple or or­ga­ni­za­tions al­ready in the U.S.

The travel ban also ap­plies to trav­el­ers from North Korea and some Venezue­lan gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and their fam­i­lies, but the law­suits did not chal­lenge those re­stric­tions.

The Jus­tice Depart­ment sought to put the Hawaii judge’s rul­ing on hold pend­ing ar­gu­ments sched­uled for Dec. 6 at the 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in Seat­tle. The three-judge panel due to hear those ar­gu­ments agreed in part Mon­day, say­ing in ef­fect that the rul­ing from U.S. District Judge Der­rick Wat­son in Honolulu went too far.

But the 9th Cir­cuit re­jected the gov­ern­ment’s re­quest to let the lat­est travel ban take ef­fect as writ­ten pend­ing the out­come of the Hawaii case. In­stead, they adopted an ap­proach sim­i­lar to that of U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Mary­land — and to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in a case chal­leng­ing the sec­ond travel ban that those with bona fide con­nec­tions could en­ter the coun­try.

The Mary­land case is due to be ar­gued be­fore the 4th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals on Dec. 8.

As a com­pan­ion mea­sure to his travel ban, which ap­plies to those seek­ing to move to or visit the U.S., Trump last month also an­nounced a new pol­icy on ad­mit­ting refugees. It im­poses tight new re­stric­tions on refugees from 11 coun­tries deemed to war­rant ex­tra screen­ing and in­def­i­nitely sus­pends a pro­gram that re­unites refugees in the U.S. with their over­seas spouses and chil­dren.

The 11 coun­tries are Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, So­ma­lia, Su­dan, the Repub­lic of South Su­dan, Syria, Ye­men. The order also ap­plies to cer­tain state­less Pales­tinian males.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit filed by the refugee as­sis­tance groups Mon­day, more than 80 per­cent of the refugees re­set­tled from those 11 coun­tries dur­ing the past two fis­cal years have been Mus­lim. Thus, halt­ing their ad­mis­sion for 90 days will dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fect Mus­lim refugees, the law­suit said.

As­so­ci­ated Press file photo

Hawaii At­tor­ney Gen­eral Doug Chin talks to re­porters May 15 out­side a fed­eral court­house in Seat­tle.

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