The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear arguments from both sides for the third and latest installment of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The ban, first signed in September 2017 after the second version expired, bans individuals from eight countries from entering the United States and threatens the status of people from these countries who already possess visas. The list includes six Muslim-majority countries that were included in the former versions of the ban, including Chad, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, Syria, and Libya. This version of the ban also includes people from North Korea and some government officials and their families from Venezuela.
The case, Trump v. Hawaii, will go in front of the courts around April 2018 with a ruling expected in June 2018. In the meantime, the travel ban will remain in place despite other lower courts blocking the travel ban. According to the Justice Department’s Solicitor General Francisco J. Noel, the ban is completely within the President’s power and ensures the safety of the citizens of the United States. The President expects to win the decision in the Supreme Court and continue the travel ban as is with no changes.
However, many argue that this travel ban is no better than the previous versions created by the Trump administration. In Trump v. Hawaii, only the six Muslim majority countries are being challenged due to Trump’s campaign promise and many announcements since calling this a Muslim ban meant to target Muslims from entering the United States. In Hawaii, where the travel ban was first challenged, a justice said, “No prior president has attempted to implement a policy that so baldly exceeds the statutory limits on the President’s power to exclude, or so nakedly violates Congress’s bar on nationality-based discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas.” Others, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who are heavily involved in the case, point out that virtually no one from North Korea travels to or lives in the United States anyway due to laws in North Korea and the Venezuela travel ban only impacts politicians. The Muslim-majority countries, on the other hand, are being targeted because of the religion of people in that region. Officials claim these countries were chosen based on their own security measures such as screening of citizens and terrorist activity. These officials point out that Sudan, a Muslim-majority country on previous versions of the travel ban, has since started to cooperate with the United States. However, Somalia also has made changes and meets the United States criteria but is still included in the travel ban.
Despite declarations otherwise, this travel ban is a Muslim ban and just one of the many ways Trump is attempting to enforce a nationalist, racist, and white supremacist agenda. In the month of January alone, Trump has ended the temporary citizenship status of people from El Salvador who have been in this country for the last twenty years, shut down the government by refusing to accept a new version of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), called African countries “shitholes,” and demanded funding for his ridiculous border wall. This travel ban is just another enforcement of Trump’s racism and promises to make America white again. It is critical that the Supreme Court recognize Trump’s discriminatory practices and insistence that this is a Muslim ban on Twitter, to realize this travel ban has no place in the United States.
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