Third Travel Ban Temporarily Halted: Success for the Immigrant Community.
Two federal judges have independently issued temporary restraining orders (TROs) preventing the U.S. regime from implementing the vast majority of President Trump’s third travel ban.
On Tuesday (October 17), District of Hawaii Judge Derrick Watson ruled that the challengers qualified for injunctive relief. Judge Watson determined that the challengers were sufficiently likely to prevail on the merits to warrant a TRO as the travel ban failed to satisfy a statutory requirement to link the ban to interests detrimental to the United States.
Notably, as this decision only regards a TRO, Judge Watson did not decide the case on the merits and instead only issued the TRO to prevent “irreparable harm” to the challengers until the full case unfolds in court. The TRO temporarily prevents the federal government from enforcing the travel ban, except as it applies to citizens of Venezuela and North Korea.
On Wednesday (October 18), Judge Theodore D. Chuang (District of Maryland) independently issued a second TRO. This TRO is more limited in scope: it only prevents the government from excluding individuals with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States. However, Judge Chuang used the president’s inflammatory anti-Muslim words as evidence of the unconstitutionality of the ban.
A quick summary of the third travel ban:
It is an indefinite block on some or all nationals of eight different countries (Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia) from entering the United States.
The ban applies to the nationals if they were outside of the United States without a valid visa on September 23, 2017, at 3:30 PM EST. Nationals traveling on another passport and lawful permanent residents (“green card holders”) are both exempted from the ban.
Nationals from the two non-Muslim majority countries would be least affected. The Venezuela ban is limited to certain government officials. While the North Korean ban is substantially broader (prohibiting all entry on immigrant or nonimmigrant visas), the United States only issued 61 visas under these categories in all of 2016, so it is relatively low-impact.
For Iranian nationals, entry is suspended for both the nonimmigrant and immigrant visa categories except for certain student categories (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas.
Chadians, Libyans, and Yemenis may no longer enter on immigrant visas or on certain nonimmigrant visas (B-1, B-2, or B1/2).
Somalis may no longer enter on immigrant visas.
Syrian nationals are entirely prohibited from entering under either immigrant or nonimmigrant visas.
As long as the Hawaii temporary restraining order remains in place, foreign nationals (except those from North Korea and certain Venezuelan officials) can continue to enter the country, assuming they are otherwise eligible.
Please contact us or another qualified immigration firm about your specific circumstances to craft a plan in the event that the TRO is overturned.