Negating the decisions of several lower courts, the Supreme Court June 26 reinstated portions of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban, stating that travelers from six Muslim-majority countries who cannot provide proof of a bona-fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S. will be barred from entering the country.
The court announced it would hear in October a case by the Trump administration which seeks to uphold the constitutionality of the executive order issued last March. The second travel ban, which was issued after an initial ban was blocked by several lower courts, bars visitors and immigrants from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya – countries believed to harbor people who pose national security risks to the U.S.
The travel ban has gone through months of legal wrangling since it was issued.
The president hailed the decision in a statement from the White House. “Today's unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security. It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective.”
“As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive,” said Trump.
“My number one responsibility as commander in chief is to keep the American people safe. Today's ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our nation's homeland,” said the president, adding: “I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.”
The administration’s case is titled: “Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project.” The president’s executive order also bars refugees from around the world for four months.
Civil rights organizations immediately decried the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold portions of the travel ban. “It is disappointing that the highest court in our land will hear the federal government's appeal despite federal appellate courts repeatedly striking down and staying key parts of the ‘Muslim Ban’ as unquestionably unconstitutional,” stated Suman Raghunathan, executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together.
"Reinstating any part of this administration's patently discriminatory 'Muslim Ban' is contrary to the values of the United States and the ideals this country was founded on," said Raghunathan. "The president's executive orders, and the Supreme Court's decision to partially reinstate the ban amounts to government sanctioned discrimination. It does not make America safe, it makes America afraid,” she said.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice released a statement following the court's ruling, stating: "Today we are deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court sided with fear while blindly ignoring the hardships faced by refugees and visa seekers.”
“Many Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities have suffered greatly since the first Muslim ban was issued. The administration's Muslim ban foments disturbing trends of anti-Muslim sentiments within the U.S. and abroad. The Supreme Court should not have allowed any part of the Muslim ban to move forward while this executive order is under review.”
The Muslim ban restrains travel and freedom of movement for the communities affected without a rational basis, stated the organization, adding: “Any attempt to limit travel based on religion or country of origin is an egregious attack on the Constitution.”
The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance also slammed the Supreme Court’s decision to reactivate the ban, stating it was “offensive” to immigrants.
Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National president and assistant executive director of the United Domestic Workers, said in a statement: “As an immigrant to this country myself, I am extremely upset by a SCOTUS ruling so offensive to all immigrants and refugees. The religious intolerance and racial discrimination that the administration continues to unabashedly display in its rhetoric and policy is not only disgusting but is a direct attack on our nation’s core values.”