On June 26, the debate over President Trump’s controversial travel ban was ended by the Supreme Court.
The ban which was first introduced in January of this year has been stuck within the judicial system for several months. There were strict restrictions on visitors to the US from seven Middle Eastern countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).
This had been a point of tension within the US. Many believed it was unconstitutional and its initial enactment caused protests at various US airports. However, the Supreme Court has now issued a revised travel ban that is constitutional and has gone into effect.
Travel Ban: A Background
The original travel ban was the keeping of a promise Donald Trump made while on the campaign. He promised his supporters that he would curb terrorism by forbidding Muslims to enter the United States.
While the original travel ban did not target Muslims specifically, it did target nations who had Muslim majorities. Americans opposed to the ban believed this was a roundabout way to ban Muslims. However, those in support pointed out that the countries targeted were wracked with war and terrorism and visitors or refugees from these countries could pose a threat. It is important to note everyone, whether Christian or Muslim, from these targeted countries were affected by the ban.
This ban was ruled as unconstitutional because it disregarded green card holders, students, and businessmen from the targeted country. In essence, it was a broad blanket ban. President Trump tried twice to get the travel ban re-enacted, but his efforts were foiled by lower courts. Eventually it went to the Supreme Court where it was passed with several revisions.
Revised Travel Ban
The President of the United States has control over immigration according to a Supreme Court ruling in 1950 (see video below to understand the history).
The day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tightened immigration requirements on citizens from Japan, Germany and Italy. In 2011, after the arrest of two refugees from Iraq who posed a security risk, President Obama tightened the processing of refugee visas from Iraq.
The revised ban has several provisions allowing some citizens of the targeted countries entry into the US. This includes green card holders, businessmen, and those who can prove they have close family in the United States. However, this ban is only in place for 90 days. The ban still excludes Syrian refugees from entering the US for 120 days.
The Supreme Court says they will have another hearing on the travel ban in October. Their wish is to see whether or not the ban is enforced uniformly or unfairly targets Muslims. President Trump has stated in the past that he wishes to give Christian refugees higher priority than Muslim refugees. Depending on the outcome, the Court will issue another ruling. In the meantime, the White House is celebrating the outcome.