Muslim Immigration Ban
Throughout his campaign Trump declared his intent to enact a comprehensive ban on Muslims entering the country. In a press release dated Dec. 7, 2015, Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." On Jan. 26, 2017, he signed an executive order that halted all immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan.
2017.06.02 The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to revive the president’s plan to temporarily ban citizens from six mostly Muslim countries. washingtonpost.com (See also Muslims, Nationalism, Supreme Court) 2017.06.04 While world leaders call for unity after London attack, Trump attacks and ridicules to attempt to score political points. washingtonpost.com (See also United Kingdom, Foreign Policy, Unpresidential Behavior) 2017.06.05 In a series of Twitter posts, Trump may have irretrievably undermined his lawyers’ efforts to persuade the Supreme Court to reinstate his executive order limiting travel from six predominantly Muslim countries. nytimes.com (See also Legal Activity, Muslims) 2017.06.12 A second federal appeals court has ruled against Trump’s revised travel ban, delivering the latest in a string of defeats for the administration’s efforts to limit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. nytimes.com (See also Muslims, Legal Activity) 2017.06.26 The Supreme Court agreed to allow a limited version of Trump’s ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect and will consider in the fall the president’s broad powers in immigration matters in a case that raises fundamental issues of national security and religious discrimination. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity, Supreme Court) 2017.06.28 The State Department issued new guidelines to American embassies on applying a limited travel ban against foreign visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries. nytimes.com (See also Muslims) 2017.06.28 The Trump administration is expected to announce how it will implement its modified travel ban, following the Supreme Court's decision lifting a stay on the executive order imposed by two lower courts, barring travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days. npr.org (See also Muslims, Foreign Policy, Iran, Syria, Legal Activity) 2017.06.29 Six teenage Afghan female inventors have been rejected by the US for a one-week travel visa to escort their robot to the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge – an international robotics competition happening in Washington DC in mid-July. forbes.com (See also Foreign Policy, Women) 2017.07.10 The Department of Homeland Security has delayed the effective date of the International Entrepreneur Rule, and has signaled its intent to eliminate the rule completely. axios.com (See also Department of Homeland Security, Immigration) 2017.07.14 A federal court judge agreed once again to partially halt the ban of certain foreign nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries on a nationwide basis - a direct rebuke to the government's attempt to limit the close family members allowed in the US - allowing "grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States" to gain entry into the country. cnn.com (See also Legal Activity, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Supreme Court) 2017.08.02 In the first hours of the travel ban, the Trump administration officials issued clear directives: treat lawyers’ calls like “protests” and keep duly elected Congressmen out. thedailybeast.com (See also Unprecedented Actions) 2017.08.17 Hospitals in Trump country are suffering, as Muslim and Pakistani doctors are being denied visas to the US, hurting those who most are in need of help. theintercept.com (See also Immigration, Health Care) 2017.09.22 With the current ban due to expire on Sunday, Donald Trump is considering a new order to replace his travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries with one that would be tailored on a country-by-country basis to protect the United States from attacks. reuters.com (See also Immigration) 2017.09.24 The Trump administration announced new restrictions on visitors from eight countries — an expansion of an existing travel ban that has spurred fierce legal debates over security, immigration and discrimination, adding Chad, North Korea and Venezuela to the new indefinite ban. washingtonpost.com (See also Racism, Nationalism, North Korea, Foreign Policy, Iran) 2017.10.17 A federal judge largely blocked the Trump administration from implementing the latest version of their travel ban, which was set to bar various types of travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Issues, Immigration, Syria, Iran, North Korea) 2017.10.18 A federal judge in Maryland granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the latest iteration of Donald Trump’s travel ban, following a similar order by a federal judge in Hawaii. politico.com (See also Immigration, Legal Issues) 2017.11.1 Donald Trump and some of his allies on the far right have incorrectly found a new culprit in Tuesday’s deadly terrorist attack in Manhattan: Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, as the New York Democrat was among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who sought to end the program back in 2013. washingtonpost.com (See also Administration Errors, Unpresidential Behavior, Immigration) 2017.11.21 Donald Trump's latest executive order aimed at implementing the hardline immigration policies he championed during his campaign has been blocked by a federal court. cnn.com (See also Immigration, Legal Issues) 2017.11.24 Jeff Sessions is methodically reshaping the Justice Department to reflect his nationalist ideology and hard-line views, from calling for prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges possible to altering the department's legal stances in cases involving voting rights and LGBTQ issues some would call discrimination. washingtonpost.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, LGBTQIA, Racism, Nationalism, Immigration, Assaults on Civil Liberties) 2017.11.29 Donald Trump has retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy leader of the far-right British political party Britain First. buzzfeed.com (See also Immigration, Racism, Unpresidential Behavior) 2017.12.04 A divided U.S. Supreme Court let Donald Trump’s travel ban take full effect while legal challenges go forward, allowing the US to bar or restrict entry by people from six mostly Muslim countries, even if they have a relationship with a U.S.-based person or institution. bloomberg.com (See also Muslims, Nationalism, Racism, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Supreme Court) 2017.12.22 Donald Trump's third attempt at implementing his travel ban — issued via a September proclamation — again violates federal law, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled on Friday. buzzfeed.com (See also Supreme Court, Immigration) 2017.12.24 U.S. District Judge James Robart released a 65-page order blocking the administration’s restrictions on the process of reuniting refugee families and partially lifted a ban on refugees from 11 mostly Muslim countries. washingtonpost.com (See also Immigration, Legal Issues, Reversals) 2018.01.19 The U.S. Supreme Court set up a major showdown over presidential powers, agreeing to decide the legality of Donald Trump’s latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries. reuters.com (See also Supreme Court, Legal Issues) 2018.02.15 A federal appeals court ruled that Donald Trump's third attempt at a travel ban is likely unconstitutional, writing that it "continues to exhibit a primarily religious anti-Muslim objective." buzzfeed.com (See also Muslims, Legal Issues, Nationalism)
2017.01.30 The Council on American‐Islamic Relations files a lawsuit against Trump, John Kelly, U.S. Department of State, and the Director of National Intelligence claiming the travel ban violates the first amendment of the constitution, which establishes the right to freedom of religion.
David J. Bier — The New York Times
In his Jan. 27, 2017, article Bier points out that Trump's executive order halting immigration for 90 days violates a law in place for over fifty years:
"President Trump signed an executive order on Friday that purports to bar for at least 90 days almost all permanent immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Syria and Iraq, and asserts the power to extend the ban indefinitely. But the order is illegal. More than 50 years ago, Congress outlawed such discrimination against immigrants based on national origin."
Benjamin Wittes — Lawfare
In his Jan. 28, 2017, article Wittes destroys Trump's executive order halting immigration:
The malevolence of President Trump’s Executive Order on visas and refugees is mitigated chiefly—and perhaps only—by the astonishing incompetence of its drafting and construction.
NBC is reporting that the document was not reviewed by DHS, the Justice Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, and that National Security Council lawyers were prevented from evaluating it. Moreover, the New York Times writes that Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the agencies tasked with carrying out the policy, were only given a briefing call while Trump was actually signing the order itself. Yesterday, the Department of Justice gave a “no comment” when asked whether the Office of Legal Counsel had reviewed Trump’s executive orders—including the order at hand. (OLC normally reviews every executive order.)
This order reads to me, frankly, as though it was not reviewed by competent counsel at all.
Catherine Rampell–The Washington Post
On Jan. 30, 2017, Rampell asks where the red line is for Republicans in Congress:
A mere year ago, Republican leaders condemned Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) said it was “not conservatism.” Then-Gov. Mike Pence (Ind.) called it “offensive and unconstitutional.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) called it “completely and totally inconsistent with American values.” Senator and then-presidential-candidate Marco Rubio (Fla.) agreed, saying, “It violates a lot of the things that we think about our country.”
There you have it: Then, Trump’s proposed Muslim ban was decried as not conservative, not constitutional, not American. If there were ever a red line for Republicans, it seems to have been crossed Friday.
When a version of the ban became reality, however, Ryan endorsed it. Now-Vice President Pence smiled and applauded as it was signed. McConnell said he doesn’t “want to criticize [the Trump administration] for improving vetting.” And Rubio offered some cowardly pablum about needing “clarity” on “unanswered questions” about the ban.