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Revised immigration travel ban already subject to court challenge

Previously, we've spoken about the legal challenges President Trump faces with regard to his immigration policy. As we've noted, one of the president's initial immigration orders has been subjected to legal challenges, especially on the basis of the so-called travel ban, which was suspended by a federal judge out in Seattle not long after it was rolled out.

The travel ban refers to the provision suspending entry of nationals from the countries of Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Iraq. On Monday, in an effort to get around the suspension order, President Trump issued a new, revised, measure which retains the 90-day ban on travel on all the countries listed in the previous order except Iraq, which was reportedly removed from the list because of the Iraqi government's imposition of a new vetting process. 

In addition, the travel ban only applies to new visa applicants, so that those with existing visas from the six countries will be allowed to enter the United States. In the rollout of the initial order, roughly 60,000 individuals had their visas revoked, which sparked significant outrage and condemnation.

The Trump administration is hoping that the new immigration order will be harder to challenge in court, but many lawmakers have said the new order is still unconstitutional and the order is already being subjected to challenge in court. On Wednesday, the attorney general of Hawaii filed a court case against the new measure, claiming that the new executive order still discriminates against immigrants on the basis of national origin and religion, and that it would have a negative impact on universities and private businesses. In addition, a court challenge has been filed by the city attorney of San Francisco against another executive order which holds out the possibility of defunding cities that refuse to cooperate with the enforcement of federal immigration law.

It remains to be seen whether the Hawaii lawsuit will be successful. Some Republicans have praised the changes, even as others lawmakers have expressed reservations or outright condemnation of the new order as being based on the same illegal policy as the first one.

As the cases move through the courts and as President Trump's immigration policy begins to take definitive shape, the task for immigration law attorneys will be not only to mount appropriate legal challenges, but also to ensure that immigrants are able to enjoy the full protection of the law. This is important not only for those who could be improperly affected by the travel ban, or whatever of it is left standing after the legal battles, but also those unfairly and illegally impacted by other aspects of President Trump's policies.

Sources:

Reuters, "Trump signs revised travel ban in bid to overcome legal challenges," Steve Holland & Julia Edwards Ainsley, March 7, 2017.

The New York Times, "Hawaii Sues to Block Trump Travel Ban; First Challenge to Order," Alexander Burns, March 8, 2017. 

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