Will the Ban Stand? the U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide the Fate of President Donald Trump's Attempt to Restrict Muslim Entry to America

By Hassanein, Rokia | Church & State, March 2018 | Go to article overview

Will the Ban Stand? the U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide the Fate of President Donald Trump's Attempt to Restrict Muslim Entry to America


Hassanein, Rokia, Church & State


An ailing, elderly woman is waiting for one of her adult sons to arrive in the United States to help her and her equally health-challenged husband. But because of President Donald J. Trump's Muslim ban, their son can't enter the country, and his mother worries she may never see him again.

"It is very difficult for my other son to take care of us by himself and very hard for us to get around or meet our own needs. We desperately need my other son to be here also," said the woman, identified by the pseudonym "Jane Doe No. 5" for her protection.

"I have been extremely anxious, sad and worried. I am afraid that 1 will never be able to see my son. I am afraid that he will not be able to come and be with his elderly parents. This causes me great pain and suffering on a daily basis."

This woman is one of the plaintiffs in Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) v. Trump, a lawsuit filed by Americans United, Muslim Advocates and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP in consultation with the National Iranian American Council to challenge the Muslim ban. She is one of thousands of people who are cruelly separated from their families by Trump's anti-Muslim policies.

A resolution may be at hand, however. On Jan. 19, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear Trump v. Hawaii, one of several legal challenges to the Muslim ban that have been percolating in the federal courts.

Americans United, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Hawaii case, hopes that the justices rule on the right side of history by striking down Trump's attempt to block people from coming to the country for no reason other than their religious beliefs.

"The Supreme Court has the power to end a disgraceful chapter in American history, during which President Trump has ignored the Constitution and our fundamental values of religious freedom and fairness," Richard B. Katskee, AU's legal director, said in a Jan. 19 statement.

"It is unfair to discriminate against people because of their beliefs. And it is un-American to bar people from our shores because the president doesn't like their religion. But President Trump has done just that."

The high court had previously agreed to hear two cases challenging Trump's second Muslim ban--Trump v. IRAP and Trump v. Hawaii. But on Oct. 10, after Trump released the third version of his ban, the court announced it wouldn't hear the cases after all.

Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog correctly predicted that cases challenging the Muslim ban would find their way back into the high court so that it could examine "whether the Trump administration's restrictions on entry into the United States violate the Constitution or exceed the president's authority."

Although AU's legal challenge to the ban is not currently before the high court, the organization is still litigating it and will remain involved in fighting the ban through legal briefs before the Supreme Court, grass-roots activism and education. (Trump v. Hawaii will be argued before the high court this spring, with a decision likely by the end of June.)

The Trump administration's third attempt at implementing a Muslim ban came just as the second Muslim ban was expiring on Sept. 24. Trump issued a proclamation indefinitely banning immigrants from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen--all of which are Muslim-majority countries. The ban also barred most business and tourist visitors from all of those countries except for Somalia.

There are slight distinctions among the three bans. Sudan, which was included in the first two versions of the Muslim ban, was removed this time but replaced with Chad, another Muslim-majority country. Trump's proclamation also mandated "additional scrutiny" for Iraqi immigrants, like the second version of the ban but unlike the first version, which had banned them outright.

The third ban also applies to North Koreans and certain Venezuelan government officials and their families. …

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