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.
2017.01.28 The Islamic Center of Victoria, a mosque in Texas, was set on fire just hours after Trump signed an executive order restricting immigration from Muslim-majority countries. thinkprogress.org (See also Hate Crimes, Muslims) 2017.02.01 U.N. Secretary General António Guterres says Trump's Muslim immigration ban violates "our basic principles," would not reduce terrorist threats, and should be immediately lifted. nytimes.com (See also United Nations, Muslims) 2017.02.24 A three-page DHS report casts doubt on need for Trump travel ban, saying citizenship is an “unreliable” threat indicator, and people from the banned countries have rarely been implicated in U.S.-based terrorism. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of Homeland Security, First 100 Days) 2017.02.24 Trump assigns the Department of Homeland Security to help build the legal case for its temporary travel ban on individuals from seven countries, causing concern from intelligence officials who see the move as a politicization of intelligence. cnn.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.02.25 Analysts at the Homeland Security Department's intelligence arm conclude that citizenship is an "unlikely indicator" of terrorism threats to the United States and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria's civil war started in 2011. apnews.com (See also First 100 Days, Department of Homeland Security) 2017.02.25 Trump administration claims 109 people were detained in the first 26 hours after Muslim immigration ban was enacted, when 746 people were actually detained. nytimes.com (See also Immigrants, Assaults on Facts, Executive Orders, Muslims) 2017.03.01 Officials say the latest draft of Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary U.S. travel ban. apnews.com (See also First 100 Days, Iraq, Immigration) 2017.03.09 Washington, Hawaii, Oregon and New York move forward with legal challenges to Trump's revised executive order that temporarily bars the admission of refugees and some travelers from a group of Muslim-majority countries. reuters.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.03.15 Federal judge Derrick K. Watson issues nationwide block on Trump Administration's revised travel ban. nytimes.com (See also Muslims, Immigration, Immigrants) 2017.03.15 In her first interview as United Nations Ambassador, Nikki Haley breaks with the White House, saying, "We should never trust Russia." She also reverses her vehement opposition to Trump's Muslim Ban, saying it is not about religion. today.com (See also Nikki Haley) 2017.03.29 Nikki Haley describes the U.S. as the “moral conscience” of the world, calls the U.N. Human Rights Council “so corrupt” without offering evidence, and says the U.S. would never close its doors to foreigners who flee persecution, even as she defended Trump’s Muslim Ban. nytimes.com (See also United Nations, Nikki Haley) 2017.05.25 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholds national freeze of Trump's Muslim travel ban in a 10-3 vote. washingtonpost.com (See also Muslims, Immigration, Islamophobia) 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)
2017.01.30 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.